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CONNECTICUT (WABC) — One of the first Connecticut state troopers to respond to the 2012 Sandy Hook Massacre has died of COVID-19.

Connecticut State Police announced that retired Trooper First Class Patrick Dragon #705 of Brooklyn, Connecticut, died of the virus on Jan. 2.

Dragon served as a state trooper until 2018 when he began working as a police dispatcher in Foster, Rhode Island.

“The Foster Police Department has lost one of its own,” Chief David Breit said in a statement posted to Facebook that mentioned Dragon’s “valiant battle with COVID” and called him “a great person, kind, caring and a friend to all who met him.”

Connecticut police said Dragon was a proud member of the 107th Training Troop and entered the State Police Training Academy on January 9, 1998. Upon graduation from the academy, he served as a patrol trooper at Troop D in Danielson, as a Resident Trooper in the town of Sterling, as a detective in the Eastern District Major Crime Squad and as a detective in the Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit.

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