RUSKIN (FOX 13) - Sgt. Samuel Gonzalez of the Lee County Sheriff's Office is on a mission.
“I’m running to Tallahassee, 390 miles from the Lee County Sheriff's Office, to raise money and awareness for COPS, Concerns of Police Survivors,” Sgt. Gonzalez said Friday during a short break from his ultra marathon.
COPS provides resources to families of fallen officers.
“Last year there was 135 law enforcement officers killed in the U.S. and one is too many, so we're trying to raise awareness so these families continue to be taken care of,” he said.
He was at mile 24 Thursday when he learned of the tragic death of the two Gilchrest County deputies.
“It has been playing thru my head. I was extremely tired at that point and hearing of that news was just devastating, but it pushes you forward and reminds what it is your doing,” he said.
Sgt. Gonzalez is resting for the night in Ruskin. He is preparing for another 50 grueling miles through Tampa on Saturday.
“I’m still sore. I have some blistering but, energy wise, I feel I can push thru and make it,” he said.
He’ll finish up in Tallahassee on Thursday.
On Monday, at the annual Florida Sheriff’s Association Law Enforcement Officers Memorial he will hand deliver a check for $20,000 to COPS.
“I know I can’t bring their loved ones back but I want to keep their memories alive,” he said.