Woman Devastated About Ex’s Role In Police Officer’s Death

Nov 28, 2018, 7:18 PM | Updated: 11:34 pm

WEST JORDAN, Utah – The longtime girlfriend of the man accused of killing a South Salt Lake police officer said she felt terrible about what happened, and expressed concern about how to explain what happened to her children.

There are certain topics parents struggle to talk to their children about.

For Sonia Lopez, she’s dreading the day she has to explain to her 6-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter how their father made bad decisions and killed a police officer.

“They don’t know the details. I haven’t told them anything,” said Lopez while sobbing. “I told her, my daughter, you know, ‘I can’t tell you yet.’ And she said, ‘Will it be too much for me?’ And I just tell her yes.”

Officials said their father, Felix Calata, hit and killed South Salt Lake police officer David Romrell this past weekend during a robbery.

Calata was then shot and killed by other officers.

Lopez was in New York for Thanksgiving with family and friends when she got the call about what had happened.

“His mother called me. I got the call and when I saw it, it was at about 4 a.m. and I kind of had that little feeling,” said Lopez. “When she told me, I just fell on the floor. I just couldn’t even pick up the phone anymore – just left the phone on the floor.”

Even though Lopez wasn’t officially married to Calata, they had been together for nearly 13 years.

They met as students at Kearns High School.

“Every day, I get the image of him coming to me in the hallway walking on Valentine’s Day with this big, huge, red teddy bear,” she said with a smile.

However, that was before the problems with drugs began.

“Drug addiction is real. There are a lot of families that are suffering,” said Lopez.

She said she left Catala about a year ago when his drug addiction became too much.

Lopez thought, perhaps, her leaving would force him to get help and start to lead a better life.

However, she said his constant run-ins with the law turned him into someone he’s not.

“Hopefully this can be a huge wake up call to so many people to, you know, have them change themselves because they need to realize that they affect so many different lives around them,” said Lopez.

Lopez and her family wrote a note to officer Romrell’s wife and family saying how sorry they were about what happened.

“As a mother, I wish I could just give her a hug to tell her I understand her pain,” said Lopez. “I hope she can find it in her heart to forgive.”

Although Lopez did not make any excuses for what happened and what Calata did, she wanted others to know there was another family hurting and grieving.

Lopex said she hurt for her two children who will grow up without their father.

“I know people probably don’t care to hear it, but I do because I have children,” she said while wiping tears from her eyes. “We feel for them, and we are so sorry.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

A West Valley police car. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)...
Brooke Williams

Two dead after crashing into parked truck

Two died in a crash in West Valley.
13 hours ago
Keith Jensen's Christmas home lit up by all the festive lights. (KSL-TV)...
Michael Locklear

Millcreek man lights up neighborhood with the face of Santa

Millcreek man is spreading Christmas cheer through tens of thousands of lights all around his home.
2 days ago
FILE PHOTO: The Chickadee lift is pictured at Snowbird in Little Cottonwood Canyon on Thursday, Oct...
Michael Houck and Brooke Williams

Avalanche triggered at Snowbird resort, no injuries reported

Rescue crews responded to the Snowbird Ski Resort after an avalanche was triggered on a trail. 
2 days ago
FILE PHOTO (Lehi Police Department/Facebook)...
Michael Houck

Lehi building placed on ‘lock down’ after reports of man with a gun

A misunderstanding caused a building to be placed in "lock down" after reports of a man with a gun Tuesday.
2 days ago
Pat Reavy, KSL.com

Price man arrested in woman’s 2019 death now being called a murder

A Price man has been arrested for investigation of murder in connection with the shooting death of a woman in 2019 in Carbon County that was once considered an accidental shooting.
2 days ago
A Ute Football mini helmet at the U of U official store. (KSL-TV)...
Shelby Lofton

‘It was a dream come true;’ Utah football fans hyped up for another Rose Bowl

Utah football fans are making plans for the Rose Bowl after winning the PAC-12 championship game Friday night.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Woman Devastated About Ex’s Role In Police Officer’s Death