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COVID-19 claims life of Corpus Christi Victim advocate

Debra Garcia will be remembered for her heart and "glass half full" attitude, according to the people who knew her best.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — We are learning more and more about the precious lives taken too soon as the COVID-19 death toll continues to rise in the Coastal Bend. 

Debra Garcia, a Victim's Advocate with the Corpus Christi Police Department, was identified as one of those lives by the Nueces County District Attorney's Office Thursday morning. 

In a Facebook post, the District Attorney's Office wrote:

Our hearts hurt for the loved ones, family and friends of Debra Garcia as they mourn her loss. Debra was a Victim Advocate for the Corpus Christi Police Department. Always with a smile on her face and hope her heart, she was truly a “glass is half full kind of gal!” She touched many lives and she is gone way too soon. She fought bravely and she is now another life lost to Covid 19. We will miss you terribly Debra. In our hearts forever sweet lady! 

Our hearts hurt for the loved ones, family and friends of Debra Garcia as they mourn her loss. Debra was a Victim Advocate for the Corpus Christi Police Department. Always with a smile on her face and hope her heart, she was truly a “glass is half full kind of gal!” She touched many lives and she is gone way too soon. She fought bravely and she is now another life lost to Covid 19. We will miss you terribly Debra. In our hearts forever sweet lady! 

Garcia is the third person associated with the Corpus Christi Police Department to die of COVID-19. It is not clear how she contracted the virus at this time.

RELATED: Will the families of the two CCPD officers who died from the coronavirus be able to collect death benefits?

On July 12, Corpus Christi International Airport officials confirmed public safety officer Lieutenant Bobby Almager died of COVID-19 complications.

Lieutenant Almager worked at the CCIA for 24 years.

Veteran Corpus Christi Senior Officer Charles "Chuck" Williams died July 12 after his battle with the coronavirus.

It was just after 10 p.m. on July 12 when dozens of Corpus Christi police officers left Corpus Christi Doctor's Regional Hospital. They soon formed a procession to escort the body of their fellow officer. The procession ended up across town to the Heritage Memorial funeral home. As his body was moved from the hearse to the funeral home, officers stood at attention to salute the much-beloved veteran officer.

"This one hits a little bit closer to home because it’s one of our coworkers, one of our friends, our brothers in the police department," Lieutenant Michael Pena said. 

Lt. Pena tells 3News that Williams began his career in 1984. He was a graduate of the 39th Police Academy. The very next year, the President of Police Officers Association Scott Leeton graduated from that same Academy. The two would work together over the years.  

"I had worked with Chuck on various assignments, interacted with him," Leeton said. "Chuck had his own sense of humor and there’s times where I’ve seen Chuck frustrated, but there were times more times than not where I saw Chuck laugh and he had a somewhat unique laugh to him. He wasn’t scared to give you his opinion even if you didn’t ask for it, and I have nothing but fond memories for Chuck."

News of the officer's death spread quickly throughout social media where many people paid their condolences. We caught up with City Manager Peter Zanoni and here’s what he had to say about this latest COVID tragedy.

"Officer Williams with the police department was there for over 35 years providing service to the community so it’s a great loss to the city and it does remind us that this COVID is real and that we need to take it very seriously," Zanoni said.

Mayor Joe McComb also pointed out that this a hard virus to fight. 

"It’s a sad fact of life that this virus doesn’t discriminate it goes from all ages from very young to the elderly," McComb said. "It goes all sexes. It goes all races, so it’s every man for himself so to speak in this battle against this shadow opponent we don’t know where it is but it attacks."

Yesterday, 8 people died of COVID-19 in Nueces County.

RELATED: 8 COVID related deaths, 259 new cases reported in Nueces County today. Here's a breakdown of cases in the Coastal Bend.

County-By-County Breakdown

  • Nueces County: 11,160 (162 deaths)
  • Jim Wells County: 531 (6 deaths)
  • San Patricio County: 715 (15 deaths)
  • Kleberg County: 308 (3 deaths)
  • Duval County: 129 (1 death)
  • Bee County: 399 (7 deaths)
  • Live Oak: 115 (1 death)
  • Aransas County: 131 (10 deaths)
  • Refugio County: 156
  • Jim Hogg County: 48 (1 death)
  • Brooks County: 77 (1 death)
  • McMullen County: 7
  • Kenedy County: 4 (1 death)

Current Breakdown in Nueces County as of Wednesday, July 29.

  • Active Cases: 7,009 out of 11,160
  • Probable Cause: 26
  • Deaths: 162
  • Recoveries: 3,989
  • Currently in the hospital: 397
  • ICU: 147