Jacksonville deputy passes away from COVID-19 related illness

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is mourning the loss of one of their own after a lieutenant died due to a COVID-19 related illness, reports FOX 30.

On Wednesday, the sheriff's office announced the passing of Lt. Chris Cunningham. He served the community for over 20 years, the agency said.

Cunningham was also a retired Navy captain. He leaves behind five children and his wife.

“I go in Chris’ closet, and I hug his clothes…and he’s there. and so--- he was just an awesome, awesome husband.” Lisa said in an interview with FOX 30. 

They were married for nine years.

“It’s just really devastating to me, I can’t even really express it, I’m just going to live up to the way Chris saw me.” Cunningham said.

Sheriff Mike Williams released the following statement to FOX 30:

“It is with great sadness that I share the news that Police Lieutenant Chris Cunningham (ID #7687) passed away today due to a COVID-19 related illness. Chris was the commanding officer of the Crime Scene Unit, Latent Prints, and the Photo Lab. He served our community for more than 20 years. While his death is sudden and unexpected, his mark on all of us that worked with him is indelible. We will forever remember his unwavering commitment to the job and agency he loved so much. His JSO family mourns with his wife, Lisa and his children.”

A police escort service will take place at 1 p.m. Friday.