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Hero Down: Gwinnett County Police Recruit Ronald Donat Dies After Medical Emergency In Training

Gwinnett County, GA – Gwinnett County Police Department (GCPD) Recruit Ronald Donat died in the line of duty on Tuesday morning after suffering a medical emergency during his second day of police academy training.

The 41-year-old recruit was approximately 45 minutes into his 6 a.m. physical training class when he suddenly became lethargic, the GCPD said in a statement to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The instructors told Recruit Donat to take a break to rest, according to the department.

He tried to resume his training, but still wasn’t feeling well, WAGA reported.

“Donat attempted to continue the training but looked confused,” GCPD spokesperson Officer Hideshi Valle told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in a statement.

Medics were called to the scene and began providing oxygen and performing CPR on Recruit Donat, WAGA reported.

He was rushed to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

An autopsy will determine Recruit Donat’s exact cause of death, GCPD Corporal Ryan Winderweedle told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Recruit Donat was a member of the GCPD’s 112th Training Academy and began his law enforcement career on Monday, WAGA reported.

“He was a pre-recruit prior and they conducted physical activities prior to today,” Officer Valle said, according to WXIA. “This was the second day in the actual training class.”

Former Fulton County Deputy and academy instructor Charles Rambo said his heart is with Recruit Donat’s family and the GCPD.

“He passed away preparing for what was to come,” he told WXIA. “These are our heroes that are putting their lives on the line, like this young man did.”

The father-of-two also leaves behind his fiancé.

“The Gwinnett Police Department family extends our deepest condolences to Donat’s fiancé and two children,” Officer Valle told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Gwinnett County Police Department Recruit Ronald Donat, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin

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