A correctional officer assigned to the James H. Byrd Unit in Huntsville has died from coronavirus-related complications, officials said.
Eric Johnson, 37, had more than 18 years of service with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. According to the agency, Johnson was hospitalized at CHI St. Joseph’s in Bryan on Sunday for COVID-19 and died the following day.
“The Texas Department of Criminal Justice is thought of as a family. We work together, protect together and now mourn together,” TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier 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.”
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice has had fourteen employees who have died in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“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.”
Officer Johnson leaves behind his wife Charity, and four children.