Duval County

JSO lieutenant dies due to a COVID-19 related illness, family and friends mourn the loss

Jacksonville, Fla. — A Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant, Chris Cunningham, passed away Wednesday due to a COVID-19 related illness.

Cunningham served the Jacksonville community for over 20 years and was the commanding officer of the Crime Scene Unit, Latent Prints, and Photo Lab.

PHOTOS: JSO Lt. Chris Cunningham dies due to a COVID-19 related illness

A message from Sheriff Mike Williams states, “While his death is sudden and unexpected, his mark on all of us that worked with him is indelible.”

The full statement from Sheriff Mike Williams:

“It is with great sadness that I share the news that Police Lieutenant Chris Cunningham (ID #7687) passed away today due to a COVID-19 related illness. Chris was the commanding officer of the Crime Scene Unit, Latent Prints, and the Photo Lab. He served our community for more than 20 years. While his death is sudden and unexpected, his mark on all of us that worked with him is indelible. We will forever remember his unwavering commitment to the job and agency he loved so much. His JSO family mourns with his wife, Lisa and his children.”

The Fraternal Order of Police remember Lieutenant Cunningham:

We all mourn over the loss of Lieutenant Chris Cunningham. It’s hard to accept and it doesn’t seem real. Prayers of...

Posted by Fraternal Order of Police Jacksonville, FL Lodge 5-30 on Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Breaking News Coverage: 8/5/2020

Honoring Lt. Chris Cunnigham

Lt. Christopher Cunningham was a retired Navy veteran. The 48-year-old leaves behind five children and his wife.

His son shared the following message on Twitter:

“Dad, I would’ve never thought in a million years I would be writing this. You’ve been there with me and for me through literally EVERYTHING. Watch over and protect Cam and I. Rest in Peace Dad.”

His wife of nine years spoke with Action News Jax Bridgette Matter about their marriage and the loss.

“I go in Chris’ closet, and I hug his clothes…and he’s there. and so--- he was just an awesome, awesome husband.” Cunningham said.

Cunningham expressed gratitude for the time she had with her husband adding they never spent a day apart.

“It’s just really devastating to me, I can’t even really express it, I’m just going to live up to the way Chris saw me.” Cunningham said she wants families to take COVID- 19 seriously.

Action News Jax requested an interview with JSO to talk about Cunningham’s years of service but they declined.

The Jacksonville Sherriff’s Office published information on Facebook regarding a scheduled police escort service, this Friday at 1:00 PM and we’ve provided a map of the location below.

Lt. Chris Cunningham Escort - Please Share Following the loss of JSO Lieutenant Chris Cunningham in the line of duty on...

Posted by Jacksonville Sheriff's Office on Thursday, August 6, 2020

Location of Police Escort Service for Lt. Chris Cunningham

The current route takes Lieutenant Cunningham’s escort South on Jefferson Street from 8th Street up to and over the viaduct leading to Riverside Avenue. The escort will continue on Riverside Avenue and turn right onto Edison Avenue as it makes its way to the funeral home in the 500 block of Park Street.

Citizens are welcome to pay their respect to Lieutenant Cunningham. A safe place to do so on the route would be on the sidewalks located on either side of Jefferson Street in the downtown area or Riverside Avenue between Jackson Street and Forest Street on the provided sidewalks.

Marshall Malone

Marshall Malone

Marshall Malone is a Digital Content Producer for Action News Jax and former Executive Producer of Jax In Action on Facebook Live.