Detroit police captain dies from COVID-19 complications

Chief Craig describes man as a ‘true leader, never a complainer’

DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit police captain has become the second member of the department to die of complications from the coronavirus.

Capt. Jonathan Parnall, a top officer in the homicide unit, was treated at a hospital but died at home Tuesday, Chief James Craig said Wednesday.

“A true leader, never a complainer,” Craig of Parnall.

A 38-year-old civilian call taker in the Detroit department’s 911 center died Monday.

Meanwhile, Beaumont Health and Henry Ford Health System said they were caring for more than 700 patients in their 13 hospitals. Some Beaumont operating rooms have been converted into intensive care units.

Craig said 331 Detroit officers and 70 civilian police employees have been quarantined.

“We anticipate we’re going to lose a lot more of our citizens,” Mayor Mike Duggan said. “There is only one way we have to fight this virus and that is staying away from each other.”

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.

As of Tuesday, nearly 1,800 people had tested positive in Michigan for the coronavirus. Roughly 73% of cases — about 1,300 — were in Wayne County, which is home to Detroit, or adjacent Oakland County. COVID-19 deaths in Michigan, meanwhile, climbed by nine on Tuesday, to at least 24.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer warned that Beaumont, which has eight hospitals in Wayne and Oakland counties, was nearing capacity. She has issued a stay-at-home order for the state.


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