HCSO detention officer dies from COVID-19, marking agency’s fourth death from virus

Coronavirus (Pixabay)

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – A Harris County Sheriff’s Office detention officer died Wednesday from COVID-19 complications, officials said.

The detention officer, a military veteran, was in his 50s and worked in the Harris County jail for five years, according to the sheriff’s office. The detention officer, whose identity has not yet been released, died on Wednesday, Feb. 3.

“Our teammate will be missed by all of us who had the honor of working with and knowing him,” said Sheriff Ed Gonzalez. “We’re grateful for his selfless commitment to be on the front lines of ensuring the safety and well-being of everyone in the county jail – including his fellow detention officers, medical personnel, jail support staff, and those entrusted in our custody.”

The detention officer is the third Harris County Sheriff’s Office correctional staff member -- and the fourth employee agency-wide -- to die after contracting COVID-19, according to the sheriff’s office.

The other Sheriff’s Office employees who have died from COVID-19 are Sgt. Raymond Scholwinski, 70, who died on May 6, 2020, Deputy Juan Menchaca, 70, who died June 13, 2020, and Deputy Johnny Tunches, 56, who died on Nov. 3, 2020.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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