A Georgia State Patrol cadet who dreamt of becoming a state trooper died while training for the job last week, a report said.
Cadet Patrick Dupree, 36, collapsed after performing an exercise with other cadets at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center Thursday, Fox5 Atlanta reported, citing the Georgia Department of Public Safety.
Dupree, a married father of three, reportedly suffered a medical emergency and was rushed to an area hospital, but couldn’t be saved,
His wife, Shanna Dupree, told Fox5 that her husband spent his last breath doing what he loved and if still alive, he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Last month, he told me, ‘If I go out, I want to go out doing what I love,’” she said. “He was at that trooper training, doing what he loved, reaching for his goals. I’m proud of him.”
Dupree hoped to complete the trooper training and eventually work in the aviation unit, according to his family.
He began his career in law enforcement at the Cave Spring Police Department and then joined the Euharlee Police Department for six years, according to Fox5.
Before working as an officer, Dupree played semi-pro football after standing out on his high school team. He continued to play the game after taking on the responsibilities of the badge.
“He said enforcement reminds me of a football team, that’s what he said,” Shanna Dupree said. “He felt like, when we’re a team, we gotta go out there and help and save the community.”
The father deeply loved his family and was always there for his daughter and two sons, she added.
“He was an honorable, admirable, inspirational, motivational man, very caring. He made you feel safe and secure,” Shanna Dupree said.
Their daughter said she knows her father would want them all to stay strong and use their faith as a guide through the dark time.
“It’s not a loss, it’s a win because God got him right now,” Taliah Hayes told Fox5.