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.

“I will never have the words to describe how much you meant to me. You were my best friend, my soulmate, my lover, my everything. You would have gone to the end of the world and back for me — it was written all over your face in the way you looked at me. You’d wipe the tears from my face during movies. You’d give me our 20-second hugs because you knew how much it made me feel better after a hard day even though you’d roll your eyes and pretend to pull away. You were afraid to cook because you couldn’t see the pink in meats so instead you’d always put the dishes away after dinner. You introduced me to amazing people and I gained so, so, so many different, wonderful families. You made me laugh when I couldn’t contain the tears and you made me cry with your spattered bouts of romanticism and adoration for me. You’d give me my own personal drag performances. You were a man that set the bar above all else.

I fell in love with you the first time I saw you seven years ago. I didn’t know it then, but our trains were to meet at the right time and it was fate. God may have another plan for you, and although I am angry and I don’t understand it, I honor it. You were an angel that touched so many and I am so blessed and honored to have become your fiancé. I will eternally be proud of the person who you were and who you allowed me to see. It soothes my soul you’re with your father, without pain, and I will one day be reunited with you. My last text to you was at 10:16 p.m. which was about 10 minutes prior to the call.  I hope you knew I was with you in those last moments. I’m so deeply sorry I was not able to hold your hand as you crossed over… 

My heart has been forever torn into two. Please take the other half with you.

All my love, energy, and soul. I will miss you dearly.”

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.”