A deputy with the Broward Sheriff’s Department died from the coronavirus, the BSO announced Saturday.
Deputy Shannon Bennett, 39, worked for BSO for more than 12 years.
“I ask that you keep Shannon’s family members in your prayers, but keep Shannon within your heart. His legacy will be carried on in our performance,” BSO Sheriff Gregory Tony said in a message on Facebook.
Bennett died Friday night.
According to media outlets Tony said at a press conference Saturday morning, "This is a reminder not only to this community but to us as first responders that we're on the front lines with this, and that we're not immune to it, we can fall victim to it as well."
Bennett had been a school resource officer at Deerfield Beach Elementary School since January 2019. According to Tony, Bennett called out sick March 23 and checked into a hospital the next day. He tested positive for COVID-19 on March 27 and died before midnight Friday, Tony said.
Bennett was among 21 BSO employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 as of Saturday morning, most of them isolated at home, Tony said.
Bennett was an active member of the local LGBT softball league where he played on the team Shockers.
Bennett was to marry his partner Jonathan Frey in December.
Frey posted a goodbye love letter to Bennet on Facebook.
Tim Martin, former Chairman of the South Florida Amateur Athletic Association, remembered Bennett fondly.
"Shannon was a man who put family first, friends second, and himself last. For example, as a deputy officer for BSO, Shannon thought it was more important to be on duty during Stonewall Pride than to be among the revelers,” he said. “This is a tremendous loss for the gay softball community as well, where he was a player for a number of years. We will all miss him.”