Senior HPD Officer John Wilbanks, who died from COVID-19, laid to rest Monday

HOUSTON – A Houston police officer who lost a long battle with COVID-19 was laid to rest on Monday.

Senior police Officer John Wilbanks, 53, died Wednesday after “fighting COVID-19 for some time,” Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said in a statement on social media.

The funeral was held at 10 a.m. at Grace Church Houston. The public was welcomed to attend but due to COVID-19 protocols, seating was limited. The funeral service was followed by full police honors which was rendered outside the church.

Earlier this week, Chief Finner announced Wilbanks’ death stating the department had “lost a man who is the epitome of what it is to be a public servant.”

Wilbanks joined the Houston Police Department in 1994.

“All of HPD mourns the loss of Officer Wilbanks and we ask the entire city of Houston to join us in lifting his family in prayer,” Finner said.

Wilbanks is HPD’s second line of duty death due to COVID-19, according to the department.


About the Authors:

Briana Zamora-Nipper joined the KPRC 2 digital team as a community associate producer in 2019. During her time in H-Town, she's covered everything from fancy Houston homes to tropical storms. Previously, she worked at Austin Monthly Magazine and KAGS TV, where she earned a Regional Edward R. Murrow award for her work as a digital producer.

Award-winning journalist, mother, YouTuber, social media guru, millennial, mentor, storyteller, University of Houston alumna and Houston-native.