Daytona Beach, FL – Daytona Beach Police Officer Thomas Coulter died in the line of duty on Monday, after he collapsed during a physical training exercise on Friday, Daytona Beach Police Chief Craig Capri said.
He and 23 other new officers were participating in “very light” jogging and pushup exercises at approximately 8:30 a.m., when he suddenly became pale and his lips turned purple.
According to True Blue Warriors, Officer Coulter was responsive, and was transported to the Halifax Medical Center for treatment.
He was intubated at the hospital, but was able to squeeze his wife’s hand and could hear those around him.
“I just don’t understand,” Chief Capri told WKMG. “They told us he was going to be OK, initially.”
A team of doctors was unable to determine what caused his rapid decline.
His cause of death has yet to be determined.
“I’m hoping the autopsy will show us what happened,” Chief Capri told WKMG. “Sometimes things just happen. You don’t know the reason why.”
He said that Officer Coulter had a lifelong dream of becoming a Daytona Beach police officer, and that he accomplished that goal.
“He had to fight hard to get that,” the chief said. “He knew he made it. He’ll always be a part of this police department.”
Officer Coulter had not complained of feeling ill prior to the incident, and had passed all of his physical and medical testing during the hiring process, Chief Capri said.
According to True Blue Warriors, Officer Coulter had recently married his high school sweetheart.
“Tom, I will love you forever and ever,” his widow wrote in a heartfelt Facebook post on Monday. “No day will go by where I will not miss you terribly. I am so proud of everything you’ve accomplished.”
“I am so glad I am the woman you fell in love with and made your wife,” Jazmin continued. “Our almost 6 years together was not nearly enough time but it was the best 6 years of my entire life. I will never stop thinking about you. I will always love [you] until the end of my days. I hope you are at peace now. I am going to do my absolute best to be strong for you.”
“I hope you get to see your grandmother and all of our other family members in heaven. I hope you have a good day Officer Coulter,” she concluded.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Daytona Beach Police Officer Thomas Coulter, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.