A beloved Henry County Sheriff’s Office deputy died Tuesday on the job.
The Henry County Sheriff’s Office said Sgt. Sean Free died suddenly after he went to work feeling sick.
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The sheriff’s office said reports circulating that Free died from heatstroke are false.
Channel 2′s Tom Jones talked to the sheriff’s office, who said that Free was in a classroom at the gun range when he suddenly felt nauseous. He was conscious and alert when he was taken to the hospital, where he died.
Sean Free worked for the sheriff’s office for almost 16 years.
“Sgt. Free was known amongst his friends to have a smile that lit up any room and as an outspoken proponent for his friends,” the sheriff said in a statement. “His dedication to his companions was rivaled only by his dedication to law enforcement and his great faith.”
Jones talked to Free’s former co-worker, Robert Howell, who worked with Free at the sheriff’s office for about 13 years.
“He absolutely loved his job,” Howell said. “It’s just devastating. It’s heartbreaking. He’s a young man that’s just gone too soon.”
Howell said his friend was like a Swiss army knife to the department and had worked at the jail, as a school resource officer, even serving warrants.
“He’s no longer patrolling the streets of Henry County,” Howell said. “He’s patrolling the streets of Heaven.”
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Free’s cause of death will be determined by the medical examiner’s office.