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Longtime BCSO deputy dies from apparent coronavirus complications, officials say

Jesse Zamarron, 68, would have marked 24 years with the agency in February.

SAN ANTONIO — A 23-year veteran deputy with the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office died from suspected COVID-19 complications Friday morning, according to agency officials.

Jesse Zamarron was admitted to a local hospital on Jan. 13 before succumbing to the virus, about two weeks after he was believed to have been initially exposed. He was 68 years old.

“I hate that we have to be smacked between the eyes with a tragedy in our own organization,” Sheriff Javier Salazar said Friday afternoon. “But I use it as a reminder: We can’t be complacent.”

Salazar added that the deputy may have also suffered a cardiac arrest before his death, saying COVID-19 was “at least a contributing factor.” A conclusion from the local medical examiner’s office is pending.

Zamarron is at least the second Bexar County Sheriff’s deputy that passed from the coronavirus. Last spring, 53-year-old Timothy De La Fuente, a detention deputy, also succumbed to virus complications.

Meanwhile, the virus continues to afflict others in the agency. Salazar said that 75 other BCSO employees – detention deputies, law enforcement deputies and civilian employees among them – are working to overcome the coronavirus, as of Friday. In addition, 77 Bexar County jail inmates currently have the virus as well; Salazar said that only two were infected “at the lowest point” over the past few months.

“This illness just continues to ravage our community,” the sheriff said. “I’m going to urge everybody to please, please use all precaution.”

As of Thursday evening, more than 155,000 Bexar County residents have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and 1,857 have passed away from virus-related complications.