Hinds Co. Sheriff Lee Vance’s death labeled ‘COVID related death’

Published: Aug. 4, 2021 at 11:58 AM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Hinds County Sheriff Lee Vance has died, weeks after being diagnosed with COVID-19.

Cpt. Tyree Jones confirmed the information Wednesday.

According to Hinds County Coroner Sharon Grisham-Stewart, Vance died from natural causes due to COVID-19. His death will be labeled as a “COVID related death.”

An ambulance was dispatched to Vance’s home just after 11 a.m. Wednesday. He was found non-responsive and later pronounced dead.

Vance was in his first term as Hinds County Sheriff.

Previously, he was a longtime officer with the Jackson Police Department, serving as chief from 2014 to 2017.

He served for more than 30 years with the department.

Vance was diagnosed with COVID-19 late last month. Vance had been fully vaccinated against the virus.

He was elected sheriff in 2019, defeating the first-term incumbent Victor Mason.

“He was just an exceptional person and a great leader who will be sorely missed in this community and in my life as well,” Jones said of Vance, a man he considered a father figure.

Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba issued this statement on Vance’s death:

Gov. Tate Reeves also offered his condolences in a Tweet. “Mississippi lost a true law enforcement hero today, who spent 30+ years keeping Hinds Co. residents safe. Over many of those years, Lee Vance was a personal friend to me & so many others in this community.”

The news comes a couple of weeks after we reported a COVID outbreak at the Hinds County Detention Center and Work Center in Raymond. At the time, 60 detainees tested positive for the virus, as had 14 employees.

The outbreak also impacted several leaders within the sheriff’s office, including Vance, Undersheriff Allen White and Cpt. Tyree Jones. Jones has recovered from the virus, testing negative for it last week. White, meanwhile, has been released from the hospital after he was admitted for COVID-related double-pneumonia.

Vance was 63.

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