A 32-year-old deputy became the fifth member of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office to die of COVID-19, the Texas agency announced Friday.
Deputy Alexander Gwosdz was a nine-year veteran with the sheriff’s office who first joined the agency in 2012 as a detention officer, according to the sheriff. He later became a patrol deputy in northwest Harris County.
“We are devastated and saddened by another loss of life and reminded again of the dangers of this terrible virus,” said Sheriff Ed Gonzalez. “Deputy Gwosdz loved his job. He had a servant’s heart.
“His whole life was ahead of him,” Gonzalez added.
Gwosdz’s father, Chris Gwosdz, retired from the sheriff’s office last year after spending 34 years with the department, Univision reporter Deysy Rios said.
The deputy is the youngest of the five to have died from COVID-19 within the sheriff’s office, according to the Texas Blue Knights. The others are Sgt. Raymond Scholwinski, 70, deputy Juan Menchaca, 70, deputy Johnny Tunches, 56, and detention officer Robert Perez, 54.
At least 270 officers have died in the United States from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.