Chicago officer dies from COVID-19
Officer Marco Di Franco, a 21-year-veteran, contracted the virus last week and was hospitalized over the weekend
CHICAGO — A Chicago police officer stricken with COVID-19 has died, making him the first cop in the department to lose their life to the disease, officials said Thursday.
Fifty-year-old Marco Di Franco, a highly-decorated 21-year veteran of the force who worked in the narcotics division, contracted the virus last week and was hospitalized over the weekend.
"Unfortunately the severity of the virus became overwhelming and he passed away," Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.
It remained unclear if the officer had any underlying conditions that made him high-risk for the virus.
He is survived by his wife and two children, ages 7 and 10. His brother is a fellow member of the police department who also works in the same narcotics division, officials said.
"His sacrifice underscores the threats that are faced by public service employees that by their profession are not allowed to shelter in place at home," Interim Supt. Charlie Beck said Thursday.
Officer Marco Di Franco, a first generation Italian American was assigned to an undercover narcotics team. His first love was his family, his second was being a Chicago cop and lastly his heritage and collection of Italian sports cars. He was one hell of a policeman. pic.twitter.com/cus4vKYIUu— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) April 2, 2020
The officer’s death came a day after the daily count of new coronavirus cases in Illinois again pushed 1,000 as state officials announced 986 new known infections, including 42 more deaths. That was the highest number of daily deaths reported in the state since the outbreak began.