Patriots help raise thousands for family of murdered police officer

TEWKSBURY, MA (WHDH) - Members of the New England Patriots have lent their support to the family of a murdered Auburn police officer, raising thousands of dollars to help his widow and children.

Auburn Officer Ron Tarentino was shot and killed last year while he was on patrol. He is survived by his wife and three sons.

The Patriots got involved in helping the Tarentino family thanks to Nicole Bjorkgren, whose husband was a childhood friend of Tarentino’s. After participating in the Best Buddies Bike Ride last year, an event that quarterback Tom Brady supports and attends, Bjorkgren asked if she could talk to him.

“He had his hand on my shoulder and I remember I was just really emotional and I just said to him my husband’s a police officer and the police officer that was killed last week was his really good friend,” said Bjorkgren. “We’re having a fundraiser for him and if there’s anything you can do on your end, we’d really appreciate it because Ronnie has a family. Tom Brady has a family. Anyone with families understands what it’s like. It was such a tragedy. I think he understoof, I know he understood.”

Bjorkgren sent a follow-up email to Brady’s assistant and a few days later, Brady sent her a signed jersey. She also received a signed football from Julian Edelman and a signed jersey from Rob Gronkowski. The items were auctioned off and helped raise $86,000 for the Tarentino family.

“The biggest legend in football pulled through for us and it’s pretty amazing,” said Bjorkgren.

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