Parma, OH – Parma Police Department (PPD) Sergeant Nicholas Hunter died on Sept. 12 after suffering a medical emergency while on his way to work, according to his department.
The 58-year-old sergeant was traveling along I-480 when the medical issue arose, WOIO reported.
He pulled over to the side of the roadway, where he passed way.
The PPD confirmed Sgt. Hunter’s sudden death in a Facebook post the following day.
“It is with heavy hearts that we announce the loss of Sgt. Nicholas M. Hunter who suffered a medical emergency while on his way to work yesterday, September 12, 2022,” the department said.
The longtime officer served in the U.S. Navy from 1984 until his honorable discharge in 1990.
He graduated from the Cleveland Heights Basic Police Academy in 1993 and joined the PPD on April 13 of the same year.
PPD Officer Norman Kekic said he and Sgt. Hunter joined the force at the same time and that they planned to retire together, WOIO reported.
“We came in together. We were going to go out together. Unfortunately, that’s not happening,” Officer Kekic said. “It was shocking news. We’re still reeling from a pretty big loss right now.”
PPD Officer David Zarzeczny told WOIO that Sgt. Hunter welcomed him into the department when he first arrived.
“From the moment I met him, he was nothing but kind, genuine, helpful with me which I very much appreciated being brand new here,” Officer Zarzeczny said.
Sgt. Hunter served the PPD proudly for 29 years and was the department’s highest-ranking sergeant at the time of his death.
He was also proud to be the first black police officer to serve the PPD, according to his obituary.
“He was well-liked by his subordinate officers, as well as his peers and supervisors,” the PPD said. “Sgt. Hunter will be greatly missed by all.”
Sgt. Hunter leaves behind his fiancé, Barbara, as well as his children and grandchildren, according to his obituary.
He is also survived by his parents, siblings, extended family members, and many friends.
Sgt. Hunter will be laid to rest on Sept. 22.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of Parma Police Department Sergeant Nicholas Hunter, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.