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Sergeant with Harris County Sheriff’s Office dies from coronavirus after monthlong battle, officials say

HOUSTON – A sergeant with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office died Wednesday after contracting coronavirus, the department announced.

Sgt. Raymond Scholwinski, 70, fought a “courageous battle against the COVID-19 virus," officials wrote in the release.

"He was a wonderful family man. He has great children, grandchildren, and a great wife. Their super people, I was with them last night until about 11:30 and I think the family is doing well they were in good spirits,” said deputy Steven Chapman.

“Sgt. Scholwinski began his service with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office as a reserve deputy in 1979 and then went on to serve with distinction as a full-time officer for 26 years,” officials wrote. Officials previously told KPRC 2 that he had worked full time with HCSO since 1994.

On April 8, members of Scholwinski’s family and the Harris County Sheriff’s Office held a prayer vigil for him while he was in the ICU. Two of Scholwinski’s sons attended the vigil and one of them read a note on behalf of the family, thanking the community for its support.

“While he might be gone from our sights hes not gone from out hearts,” said Deputy Johnny Tunches.

At the time of his death, Scholwinski was the day watch Contract Sergeant in District 2 in Humble.

“Sgt. Scholwinski consistently served the resident of Harris County with honor, charm and distinction. He will be missed by his many friends and colleagues, all of whom were positively influenced by his commitment to service,” officials wrote in a release Wednesday.

Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said he “represented the best of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office family.” On Twitter, he shared the news with just one word — “Heartbroken.”

Funeral arrangements for Scholwinski are pending.

As of Monday, 247 employees of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office had contracted coronavirus of which 220 worked in the Harris County Jail, officials said. There were also 402 Harris County Sheriff’s deputies, detention officers and support staff under quarantine.