Rice mourns loss of Detective Rommel Espinola

Detective Rommel Espinola, a nine-year veteran of the Rice University Police Department, died April 5 as the result of injuries suffered when his car was struck by another vehicle. He was 48.

Rommel Espinola

Rommel Espinola

Espinola was a graduate of Klein High School and Sam Houston State University and worked as a teacher before becoming a police officer. He served four years with the Lone Star College Police Department prior to joining RUPD. His many law enforcement certifications included master peace officer, field training officer, firearms instructor, dignitary protection and forensic technician.

“This is an enormous loss for the Espinola family and for the RUPD family,” said Rice Police Chief James Tate. “Rommel was respected and loved by his fellow officers. We miss him already.

“The Rice University Police Department is supporting the Espinola family in this difficult time. Our thoughts and prayers are with them as they deal with this tragedy.”

Espinola is survived by a 9-year-old son and a host of friends and relatives. Services are pending.

About Jade Boyd

Jade Boyd is science editor and associate director of news and media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.