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.
Today, Senior Sergeant Steve Urias lost his battle with COVID-19, and passed away while fighting the good fight. This is the 2nd line of duty death from COVID in as many days with our department, and frankly, it is hard for me to express my grief. pic.twitter.com/BVIBw1aRBx
— Joseph Chacon 👮🏻♂️ (@Chief_Chacon) August 26, 2021
"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."
It is once again with a heavy heart that I must inform you of the loss of another of our family - Senior Police Officer Randolph “Randy" Boyd. After a valiant fight against COVID-19, he succumbed to this horrible virus this morning. He is survived by his wife and young twin boys. pic.twitter.com/c4oSTJDzqp
— Joseph Chacon 👮🏻♂️ (@Chief_Chacon) August 25, 2021
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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Now’s your chance to see a Spurs game without a trip to San Antonio.
The 2022-23 NBA schedule has been released and it includes the “I-35 Series,” with two games at The Moody Center April 6 and April 8. For the first game, the Spurs will be playing the Portland Trail Blazers and the next will be against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Season ticket holders can secure their seats on Sept. 21 and all other tickets will go on sale Sept. 28.
It's here y'all! Our #Spurs50 anniversary season is set 🗓
MORE: https://t.co/1FJbFOmVpx pic.twitter.com/5Ic8gu1cx4
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) August 17, 2022
The Spurs already have a significant Austin presence both through their minor league affiliate, the G-League Austin Spurs, and its ownership, which announced Austin billionaire Michael Dell as a new “strategic partner" in June 2021. You'll also see a new logo on this season's jersey: Austin-based fin-tech company Self Financial.
During a May Bexar County commissioner's meeting, The San Antonio Spurs were approved in a 3-2 vote to move some of its games out of San Antonio and its current home stadium, the AT&T Center. The plan came as a way to boost revenue and cater to its far-reaching fan base.
By the 2023-2024 season, two games will be allowed within 100 miles of AT&T Center as part of the two-year "pilot program.” Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said those games could take place in the Alamodome or San Marcos but that Austin would likely be the top contender.
The multi-purpose stadium in San Antonio has a 65,000 capacity, which the team says could allow them to break an attendance record for an NBA regular season game.
While some have taken their coming Austin games as a sign of a future move for the Spurs, the team was quick to shut down those rumors.
The team, which is celebrating 50 years in San Antonio after relocating from Dallas, said it is not looking for an exit but made the plans for games in other cities after stumbling sales amid the pandemic.
While average home attendance plummeted to 27th among the 30 NBA teams this season, the team has a pricey non-relocation agreement through the 2031-2032 season and has recently embarked on a $500 million mixed-use facility in San Antonio's La Cantera area.
The Spurs will also have a game in Mexico City on Dec. 17 and a Jan. 13 game at the Alamodome. Tickets for those go on sale Sept. 10 and Sept. 1, respectively.
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