Longtime Texas CO dies after contracting COVID-19

Eric Johnson, 37, served with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for more than 18 years


By Sarah Calams

HUNTSVILLE, Texas — Another Texas correctional officer has died from COVID-19 complications.

The Huntsville Item reported that Eric Johnson, 37, who was assigned to the James H. Byrd Unit, served with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for more than 18 years. He was hospitalized on July 26 and died the next day.

Eric Johnson was assigned to the James H. Byrd Unit. (Photo/TDCJ)
Eric Johnson was assigned to the James H. Byrd Unit. (Photo/TDCJ)

"The Texas Department of Criminal Justice is thought of as a family. We work together, protect together and now mourn together," Bryan Collier, TDCJ executive director, said. "This loss is even greater because it affects so many. Officer Johnson's wife, father, step-mother, uncle and sister-in-law all are TDCJ officers. Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire family. We thank all for their service. Eric Johnson will not be forgotten."

TDCJ officials said a total of 14 employees have died from COVID-19 complications. 

"Officer Johnson was best known for having a constant smile, positive word of encouragement and an over the top personality. He was well respected and liked by everyone he came into contact with," said Byrd Unit Assistant Warden Michael James. "The passing of Officer Johnson is a great loss to the Byrd Unit, he will be sorely missed and always remembered."

Johnson leaves behind his wife and four children.

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