Police Officer Elieser Colonroche Sanford Police Department, North Carolina EoW: Tuesday, July 5, 2011

EliColonroche352Sanford Police Department, North Carolina

Police Officer
Elieser "Eli" Colonroche

Sanford Police Department, North Carolina
End of Watch: Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Biographical Info

Age: 55
Tour of Duty: 31 years
Badge Number: Not available

Incident Details

Cause of Death: Training accident
Date of Incident: July 5, 2011
Weapon Used: Not available
Suspect Info: Not available

Agency Contact Information

Sanford Police Department
225 E Weatherspoon Street
Sanford, NC 27330
Phone: (919) 775-8268

Patrol Officer Eli Colonroche succumbed to injuries sustained at about 9:30 am while participating in a training exercise at the Central Carolina Community College.
He and several other officers were descending a four-story rappelling tower when he collided with the tower’s third story. He continued his descent to the ground where he was evaluated by other officers. He was transported to a local hospital where it was determined he was suffering from internal bleeding. He was flown to UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill where he passed away at about 6:00 pm.
Officer had served with the Sanford Police Department for nine years and had previously served as a U.S. Army MP for 22 years. He is survived by his wife and three sons.

A Sanford police officer died Tuesday of apparent internal bleeding after being injured while repelling during a training exercise, police said today.

Patrol officer Elieser "Eli" Colonroche, 55, died about 6 p.m. Tuesday after being medevacked to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill to be treated for his injuries, said Maj. Kevin Gray with the Sanford Police Department.

Several Sanford police officers, including Colonroche, were practicing repelling at Central Carolina Community College about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday when the accident took place.

The officers were training for a demonstration they planned to do July 23 for the college’s 50th anniversary celebration, an event that will include fireworks, music and a jump by the 82nd Airborne All American Freefall Team, according to the college.

Colonroche had been at the top of a four-story repelling tower and began his descent when he hit the tower at about the third story, cutting his elbow, Gray said.

"For some unknown reason, we don’t know why, he hit the side of the building," Gray said. "He was fine. He didn’t even want to go to the doctor. … They told him he was going to go to the doctor and they made him go."

Colonroche was transported to Central Carolina Hospital in Sanford, where problems developed with his blood pressure a few hours later, he said. Doctors determined he was likely suffering from internal bleeding, he said.

"They never really found out where, and they couldn’t stop it," Gray said.

Colonroche was medevacked to Chapel Hill, where he died about 6 p.m., he said. Police are still trying to figure out exactly what happened.

"It’s plainly an accident, there’s no doubt about it. It’s just a freak accident that occurred, but we want to find out all the information we can about it anyway," Gray said. "We want answers ourselves."

Colonroche, a retired military policeman who served in the Army for 22 years with the 82nd Airborne Division, joined the Sanford Police Department in August 2002 and was known as a dedicated lawman, Gray said.

Colonroche’s favorite past time was sky diving, according to an obituary.

He leaves behind a wife, Rosa Colonroche, and three sons. A military funeral is planned for July 12 at the Sandhills State Veteran’s Cemetery in Spring Lake.

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1 Response to “Police Officer Elieser Colonroche Sanford Police Department, North Carolina EoW: Tuesday, July 5, 2011”


  1. 1 René Quintero July 6, 2011 at 22:12

    René Quintero and family,Panamá Cnel (R) For us is so sorry the loss of my friend Eli. Panamenian Free fall team


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