CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Monroe Police Department is mourning a loss of one of its own.

Police say Monroe High School resource officer Paul Perrette, 49, died after being involved in a motorcycle accident Saturday afternoon. The accident took place near the town of Cherokee.

“This is a heartbreaking loss for our department, the students at Monroe High School and our residents,” said Police Chief Bryan Gilliard in a press release. “Paul was a very well-respected and well-liked member of our department and community and we are all just devastated at this time.”

Students gathered Sunday to pay their respects and mourn the fallen officer. To them, Perrette was known as "Officer Pauly." The heartbreaking news comes just one week before the start of classes.

Perrette was an officer with Monroe Police since 2009. He leaves behind his wife and two daughters.