LEICESTER, Mass. (WHDH) – Police officers in Leicester are in mourning for their former colleague who was shot and killed in Auburn early Sunday morning.

Before he became an officer in Auburn two years ago, Officer Ronald Tarentino was a police officer in Leicester for seven years. He worked as a dispatcher for another agency before that.

“It’s difficult to stand here right now,” said Leicester Police Sgt. Paul Doray, who choked back tears Monday as he remembered Tarentino. “Ronny made friends everywhere, there’s not a single person in this department that wasn’t friends with this guy.”

Leicester Police Chief James Hurley said Tarentino was an ambitious officer who did investigations in his free time. Tarentino was also remembered as a devoted family man to his wife and three sons and a friend to many.

“Ron was more than just a co-worker. He was a friend to all of us and someone who always made your day better,” said Hurley.

Tarentino was shot during a traffic stop in Auburn. Police said suspect Jorge Zambrano took off and was killed in a shootout with police hours later.

The town held a vigil in his memory Sunday evening.

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