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Senior Sgt. Steve Urias is the second Austin police officer to die of COVID in just 24 hours. (Joseph Chacon/Twitter)

Senior Sgt. Steve Urias of the Austin Police Department became the second Austin police officer to die of COVID-19 in just 24 hours, according to a statement from interim Chief Joe Chacon.


Chacon said that Urias was nearing retirement when he tested positive for COVID and died Thursday afternoon. In a written statement on Twitter, Chacon wrote that Urias served over 31 years with the department.

"He was nearing retirement when this horrible disease struck him & his family," Chacon wrote. "He was a wonderful officer, husband, father & friend. He will be missed by us all."

Urias is survived by his wife and 2 adult children, Chacon wrote. "Frankly it is hard for me to express my grief," Chacon said.

The news comes just a day after Austin police officer Randall "Randy" Boyd was the first in the department to die due to complications from COVID-19. Boyd, who died on Wednesday morning, is survived by his wife and young twin boys.

"Randy was a great officer who gave everything he had for a life of service," Chacon said. "Despite the surging pandemic, officers have continued to put their lives on the line, showing up to serve the Austin community while placing themselves in harm's way."

Though these are firsts for Austin, police officers have died more from COVID-19 in 2020 and 2021 than any other cause, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.

APD said they would not disclose whether either officer was was vaccinated.

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