BAKER, La. – A Louisiana police lieutenant and community mentor died of COVID-19 the day before his wedding.
DeMarcus Dunn, 36, died on Aug. 13, in Baker, The Advocate of Baton Rouge reported. He leaves behind three children, ages 13, 5 and 1, according to his cousin, Carl Dunn, who is also the police chief in Baker.
DeMarcus Dunn and his fiancee, Francine James, had originally set a wedding date of July 2020 but postponed it because of the pandemic, Carl Dunn told ABC News.
“She’s lost without him,” Carl Dunn told the network.
On July 29, Demarcus Dunn told the chief he tested positive for COVID-19, ABC News reported. The lieutenant had not been vaccinated, Carl Dunn told the network.
“It was disturbing to me that he hadn’t gotten (the vaccine) and I didn’t know for sure he hadn’t gotten it ‘til it was all over with,” Carl Dunn said.
DeMarcus Dunn was named the Baker Police Department’s Officer of the Year in 2016, The Advocate reported. He grew up in Baker and starred as quarterback for his high school team, the newspaper reported. As an adult, he coached football and basketball.
The officer served in the U.S. Air Force and received a Global War on Terrorism medal and a National Defense medal, according to The Advocate.
In a statement, Baker Mayor Darnell Waites said his “heart was heavy” after learning of DeMarcus Dunn’s death.
“He was a father, husband, soldier, mentor, friend and veteran Baker police officer — a man loved by all,” Waites said. “His life spent dedicated in service to others was a shining example for our community.”
DeMarcus Dunn went on a ventilator on Aug. 10 and died three days later, according to ABC News.
“I know he was a fighter and strong-willed,” Carl Dunn told the network. “I just kept telling myself he was going to make it and I kept assuring the family that I knew he was going to make it.”
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