Trenton, NJ – Mercer County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) Detective Pablo Santiago died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound inside the McDade Administration building on Wednesday.
Det. Santiago seemed to be his happy, outgoing self when he reported for work on Wednesday morning, his coworkers said, according to The Trentonian.
Police said that Det. Santiago’s body was discovered inside a facility restroom at approximately 1:15 p.m., NJ.com reported.
“This tragedy is a very sad reminder of the pressures that law-enforcement officers experience on a daily basis,” Mercer County Sheriff Jack Kemler said. “Our hearts break when a law enforcement officer in our community dies under any circumstances.”
“I know that all of our Sheriff’s Officers feel a terrible loss today,” the sheriff continued. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Det. Santiago, his family, his friends and colleagues."
Det. Santiago served as a Trenton Police Department officer, dispatcher, and animal control officer before he joined the MCSO in December of 2004.
He served his community “with distinction,” Sheriff Kemler said.
“He gave himself 150 percent,” Mercer County Undersheriff Pedro Medina told The Trentonian. “Such a kind guy who didn’t expect anything in return. I cannot think of one person, one person, who didn’t like Pablo. I don’t think he had any enemies.”
The detective was a well-known and well-liked member of the department, and had been praised my many organizations for his community involvement over the years, NJ.com reported.
“Pablo was a beloved member of the Mercer County law enforcement community whose loss will be felt by all,” Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri told NJ.com.
“He was a great, shining star of our community,” former Trenton mayoral candidate Paul Perez told The Trentonian. “He was deeply loved and respected. My condolences go out to his mother and his family. This is a very sad day…We are really in shock.”
Det. Santiago was also the president of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department Police Benevolent Association.
He leaves behind a wife and two daughters, according to a fundraising campaign established to help his family in the wake of their loss.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Mercer County Sheriff’s Office Detective Pablo Santiago, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.