TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The officer who was killed in a crash with a wrong-way driver is being honored for his many sacrifices across Tampa this week.
Officer Jesse Madsen lost his life after crashing into a wrong-way driver who was speeding down Interstate 275 early Tuesday morning. Police Chief Brian Dugan said Madsen had veered into the way of the oncoming car in order to save the lives of others.
We later learned that was not the first heroic act from the 45-year-old father of three.
Madsen had been leading a life of service up until his death, constantly putting his life on the line when responding to calls, both medical and domestic.
In 2012, Madsen saved a person who was shot at Hollywood Nights, a Tampa nightclub.
“He served in the Marine Corps. He served oversees. He’s a decorated combat veteran. He also served in the Florida National Guard. He served with three police units, until he settled here at the Tampa Police Department. So service was nothing new to him,” said Danny Alvarez, with the Police Benevolent Association.
Pictures of Madsen with his family give a glimpse of the man he was, a loving husband, devoted father of 3, and a good friend.
The death of Madsen, yet another law enforcement officer sent shockwaves through Tampa on Tuesday.
City Hall and bridges are lit up in blue to honor Madsen, and police have gone into a seven-day mourning period.
“When we talk about Jesse Madsen, we’re talking about a cop’s cop and hero’s hero. He went out the way he lived his life, and last night he put himself in between a car and a civilian and he knew the sacrifice he was making and he knew the risk and he choose to do it anyway,” said Alvarez.
Officer Madsen’s badge, number 507, will be retired and his name will be etched into the Tampa Police Fallen Officers Memorial.
The Tampa Police Benevolent Association is raising funds on behalf of Officer Madsen’s family. Donations and sales of memorial t-shirts will all go to the family.