(Yahoo) Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis skipped out on a pricey fundraiser in New York to attend a funeral Mass for a fallen member of his security detail on Monday.
DeSantis was scheduled to appear at a $25,000-per-plate fundraiser for Republican Lee Zeldin, who is running for governor in New York. He will instead attend a memorial service for Special Agent Jose Perez, a member of his security detail who died last week from injuries sustained on the line of duty.
Perez was driving his police vehicle on Aug. 2 when an allegedly intoxicated driver crashed into him. Perez survives 18 days in the hospital but ultimately succumbed to his injuries. The other driver, Javier Sandoval, has been arrested and charged with DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide, according to the New York Post.
Perez’ family held a memorial for him on Monday, just one day after DeSantis was scheduled to appear at Zeldin’s fundraiser in New York. The governor chose to use Sunday to travel back to Florida so that he could attend the memorial.
“Today we mourn the tragic loss of FDLE Special Agent Jose Perez, who died in the line of duty,” Florida first lady Casey DeSantis wrote on Twitter ahead of the service Monday. “With over 20 years in the U.S. armed forces & more than 30 years in law enforcement, he lived a valiant life serving our nation & state. The entire @fdlepio community is in our prayers.”
Zeldin’s campaign had initially left the details of DeSantis’ absence vague, saying he had to leave due to an “unforeseen tragedy.”