'He was so loved': Brave widow of Massachusetts police officer who was shot dead during a traffic stop delivers touching tribute before attending his funeral with their three sons

  • Ronald Tarentino, 42, died Sunday after getting shot the back in Auburn
  • His wife of nearly 20 years, Tricia, spoke before his funeral on Friday
  • Said she was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for her family
  • Son Spenser said he hoped people would respect police officers more
  • Shooting suspect Jorge Zambrano, 35, was gunned down by state police  

The widow of a police officer who was gunned down in Massachusetts delivered a touching tribute before his funeral on Friday.

Ronald Tarentino, 42, was laid to rest in Charlton five days after getting shot in the back during a traffic stop in Auburn.

His wife of 20 years, Tricia, thanked the state police, her church, the first responders, residents, doctors, nurses and all those who celebrated her husband's life - or tried to save it.

Their son Spenser stood with his two brothers by his side as he said he hoped people would start treating police officers with more respect.

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Ronald Tarentino, 42, was laid to rest in Charlton five days after getting shot in the back during a traffic stop in Auburn, Massachusetts. His wife Tricia (pictured) gave him a touching tribute beforehand

Ronald Tarentino, 42, was laid to rest in Charlton five days after getting shot in the back during a traffic stop in Auburn, Massachusetts. His wife Tricia (pictured) gave him a touching tribute beforehand

Tarentino's sons Kyle (left) and Ronald III (right) stood next to their brother Spenser (center) as he spoke about their father on Friday, saying he hoped people would start treating police officers with more respect

Tarentino's sons Kyle (left) and Ronald III (right) stood next to their brother Spenser (center) as he spoke about their father on Friday, saying he hoped people would start treating police officers with more respect

Tarentino stopped a vehicle on a residential street in Auburn around 12:30am on Sunday. 

The occupant shot him and fled while Tarentino was taken to the hospital in Worcester, where doctors pronounced him dead.

His wife said she was 'a little nervous' before giving her statement ahead of his funeral on Friday - but insisted on giving it herself.

She thanked her church and the state police, saying the family's communities had been 'amazing' as they rallied behind them, CBS Boston reported.

Police officers lined up outside St Joseph Church in Charlton (pictured) during the ceremony. Tarentino died on Sunday, hours after stopping a vehicle in a residential street in Auburn

Police officers lined up outside St Joseph Church in Charlton (pictured) during the ceremony. Tarentino died on Sunday, hours after stopping a vehicle in a residential street in Auburn

Tarentino would be 'so touched to see how much he was loved', his wife said Friday, thanking everyone who has rallied behind their family in the days since his death. Pictured, police line up during the funeral

Tarentino would be 'so touched to see how much he was loved', his wife said Friday, thanking everyone who has rallied behind their family in the days since his death. Pictured, police line up during the funeral

More than 100 people gathered on Sunday evening at Leicester's Town Common to light candles in honor of Tarentino (pictured), just hours after his death

More than 100 people gathered on Sunday evening at Leicester's Town Common to light candles in honor of Tarentino (pictured), just hours after his death

'We have been blessed by all the thoughts and prayers, meals, flowers, signs, services donated and vigils that were so moving to watch,' she said.

'The overwhelming generosity everyone has shown and considerate words, stories people have shared about the character they had seen in Ron and the find memories were really uplifting.

'It's amazing to see how many lives he has touched and how each of you has shown and expressed your love for him.' 

More than 100 people gathered on Sunday evening at Leicester's Town Common to light candles and pay tribute to Tarentino.

Some brought flowers and flags to a memorial set up in front of the police station in Auburn earlier this week.

'Ron would be so touched to see how much he was loved,' his wife added Friday. 

She said their family was praying for a speedy recovery for the trooper who got injured as state police hunt down the suspect in the shooting.

Jorge Zambrano, 35, died later on Sunday in Oxford, a few miles away from the scene of the shooting.

State police spotted his car outside of a house and went up to a bedroom on the first floor as they searched for him. 

Zambrano jumped out of a wardrobe and shot one of the state troopers, an 18-year veteran who came out with a minor wound.

Another officer responded, shooting and killing Zambrano.

Tarentino's wife wished a speedy recovery to the trooper who got injured in a standoff with suspect Jorge Zambrano, 35, who was gunned down later Sunday. Pictured, police officers carry Tarentino's casket

Tarentino's wife wished a speedy recovery to the trooper who got injured in a standoff with suspect Jorge Zambrano, 35, who was gunned down later Sunday. Pictured, police officers carry Tarentino's casket

Spenser (right) told his mother: 'Mom, I'd like to thank you. You've been so strong for us. I know Dad loved you more than anybody'. Both are pictured Friday with their relatives

Spenser (right) told his mother: 'Mom, I'd like to thank you. You've been so strong for us. I know Dad loved you more than anybody'. Both are pictured Friday with their relatives

'I speak for both my brothers in saying he was not only my dad but my best friend,' Spenser added, saying he had learnt 'everything' from his father. Pictured, family members embrace after giving a eulogy

'I speak for both my brothers in saying he was not only my dad but my best friend,' Spenser added, saying he had learnt 'everything' from his father. Pictured, family members embrace after giving a eulogy

'We have been blessed by all the thoughts and prayers, meals, flowers, signs, services donated and vigils that were so moving to watch,' Tarentino's wife said Friday (pictured)

'We have been blessed by all the thoughts and prayers, meals, flowers, signs, services donated and vigils that were so moving to watch,' Tarentino's wife said Friday (pictured)

Auburn Police Chief Andrew Sluckis remembered Tarentino as a humble man with a 'larger than life personality'. Pictured, police officers attend the funeral service on Friday

Auburn Police Chief Andrew Sluckis remembered Tarentino as a humble man with a 'larger than life personality'. Pictured, police officers attend the funeral service on Friday

Tarentino always brightened his fellow officer's days and nights, Sluckis added, and was a 'knight in shining armor' to those in need. Pictured, mourners arrive at St Joseph's Church for the funeral Friday

Tarentino always brightened his fellow officer's days and nights, Sluckis added, and was a 'knight in shining armor' to those in need. Pictured, mourners arrive at St Joseph's Church for the funeral Friday

The suspect had a long criminal history, with a series of recent arrests and several probation violations.

He had been caught three times for assaulting police officers and had served seven years in prison for drug trafficking, the Boston Globe reported.

Tarentino's son Spenser stood by his two brothers, Kyle and Ronald III, as he spoke at their father's funeral Friday.

'I apologize if I get too loud. I have my dad's voice - along with his goofy arms and legs,' he said according to CBS Boston.

Spenser thanked the relatives, friends and police officers who have supported the family since Tarentino's death.

'Police officers specifically - you guys have one of the hardest jobs in the world.

'Mom, I'd like to thank you. You've been so strong for us. I know Dad loved you more than anybody,' Spenser said, turning to his mother.

'I'd like to say something that I know a lot of you guys are thinking. Police officers deserve so much more respect than they get.

'I hope that my dad didn't go in vain and that something good comes out of this.'

He said he hoped people would start treating police officers with more respect.

'I'd like to talk about how great my dad was as a father,' Spenser continued.

'I speak for both my brothers in saying he was not only my dad but my best friend. I learnt everything I know from him - his sense of humor, his work ethic.'

Police officers carried Tarentino's casket out of St Joseph's Church on Friday.

Dozens of them lined up outside during the ceremony.

Auburn Police Chief Andrew Sluckis remembered Tarentino as a humble man with a 'larger than life personality'.

He always brightened his fellow officer's days and nights, Sluckis added, and was a 'knight in shining armor' to those in need.

His son Spenser thanked police officers on Friday, saying they had 'one of the hardest jobs in the world'. Pictured, mourners enter the funeral service on Friday

His son Spenser thanked police officers on Friday, saying they had 'one of the hardest jobs in the world'. Pictured, mourners enter the funeral service on Friday

Congressman James P McGovern, Secretary of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security Daniel Bennett, Massachussets State Police Colonel Richard D McKeon (pictured from left to right) and other officials attended the funeral service for Tarentino on Friday

Congressman James P McGovern, Secretary of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security Daniel Bennett, Massachussets State Police Colonel Richard D McKeon (pictured from left to right) and other officials attended the funeral service for Tarentino on Friday

Tarentino's wife thanked all those who had shared uplifting stories about her husband Friday. Pictured on Monday,  Auburn police station's sign draped in black in his memory

Tarentino's wife thanked all those who had shared uplifting stories about her husband Friday. Pictured on Monday, Auburn police station's sign draped in black in his memory

Mourners stopped by Auburn police station to deposit flowers and flags and pay tribute to Tarentino earlier this week. His wife thanked everyone for their support on Friday

Mourners stopped by Auburn police station to deposit flowers and flags and pay tribute to Tarentino earlier this week. His wife thanked everyone for their support on Friday

The memorial set up for Tarentino in front of the police station in Auburn was covered in flowers, candles and flags on Monday, just one day after his death

The memorial set up for Tarentino in front of the police station in Auburn was covered in flowers, candles and flags on Monday, just one day after his death

'It's amazing to see how many lives he has touched and how each of you has shown  your love for him,' Tarentino's wife said. Pictured, flowers and rosary beads  on a memorial  outside the police station in Auburn

'It's amazing to see how many lives he has touched and how each of you has shown your love for him,' Tarentino's wife said. Pictured, flowers and rosary beads on a memorial outside the police station in Auburn

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