South Salt Lake Police Officer, Marine Veteran Killed by Car Ramming

By Faye Higbee

South Salt Lake Police Officer David Romrell, 31, was a Marine veteran who deployed several times in the service of his country. He survived them all, only to be murdered by burglary suspects in Utah after one of them rammed a car into him.

Officers were called to the report of a burglary in progress at a business complex in South Salt Lake at around 5:30 p.m. on Saturday. The person who made the call was inside the business at the time.

Fox 13 reported,

“When officers arrived, they made contact with two male suspects attempting to leave in a vehicle,” Chief Carruth explained. “Officers pulled into the complex, and exited their vehicles giving their commands to both suspects.”

At that point, Chief Carruth said the driver of the vehicle accelerated toward the officers, targeting and hitting Officer Romrell as the vehicle drove away onto West Temple.

He said Officer Romrell was doing everything correct at the time, according to what they learned from the investigation.

“Officers fired their weapons at that time, striking the vehicle and the driver of that vehicle,” Chief Carruth continued.

The driver was later pronounced dead, and the other suspect fled from police but was taken into custody shortly after, police said.

The deceased suspect was identified as Felix Anthony Calata, 32, of West Valley City. The police department initiated the use of a K-9 unit to locate the second suspect.

Officer Romrell was transported to the Intermountain Medical Center in critical condition. He was unable to recover and succumbed to his injuries during emergency surgery, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.

Officer Romrell had only been with the South Salt Lake police department for 11 months. He was a husband and father of a 4 month old child.

Chief Carruth described Romrell as a “tactically sound” officer, primarily because of his Marine Corps service.

“He came from a long history of service being in the Marine Corps, left that– serving his country– to serve the community. He was very service driven…” Chief Carruth

David Romrell was the first officer from the South Salt Lake Department to be killed in the line of duty.