HOUSTON – Pasadena Police Department is mourning the loss of police detective and military veteran, Pedro “Pete” Mejia Jr., who died Saturday after a difficult battle with COVID-19.
“He was a joy to be around,” said Pasadena Police Chief Josh Bruegger. “His sergeant told me there is no way I can replace him just because that’s who he is.”
According to the department, Mejia served in the United States Army, where he was deployed on two different occasions. He was awarded numerous certifications, badges, commendations, and medals for his outstanding performance while rising to the rank of sergeant.
In 2005, Mejia began working at Pasadena Police Department, serving in various roles including uniformed patrol, DWI Task Force, and as an investigator in the Narcotics Division.
KPRC 2 met with Detective Mejia’s family Monday afternoon. They described the father as a man who loved life, his job and his family.
“It’s crushing because he’s standing right there and then all of the sudden seeing him in the hospital,” said Mejia’s brother, Danny Mejia. “He was a leader out there in his work and in the community and he was a leader in our household.”
Mejia was the oldest of four siblings and father to his teenage daughter.
Last summer, his father died of COVID-19.
“It’s taken my father. It’s taken my brother, my aunt, please just listen because you don’t want to be here what we are going through,” said Mejia’s sister, Maria Montes. “You have to talk this serious, this COVID is taking so many lives.”
Detective Mejia joins a growing community of heroes as law enforcement officers are killed in the line of duty by an unarmed enemy. Sadly, it’s a list in progress.
“We don’t get to stop. Just like the healthcare workers, we still have to go out there and serve and protect,” Chief Bruegger said. “I really think that over the weekend, this was a wake up for our department, that Covid is still very real. It’s still out there and we need to take the necessary precautions to protect ourselves.”
Funeral arrangements are tentatively planned for Wednesday, Feb. 17.