East Coast

Philadelphia Deputy Dante Austin was Found Dead at his Desk Possible Suicide

Deputy Dante Austin
Philadelphia Deputy Dante Austin was Found Dead at his Desk Possible Suicide

A death investigation is underway after a deputy died inside the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office just weeks before he was scheduled to be promoted. Deputy Dante Austin was found dead at his desk on Friday morning.  Sister station WPVI-TV reported that officials believe Austin died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Sheriff Jewell Williams said an official ruling on Austin’s death will come from the Medical Examiner’s Office.  “This is a tragedy for the Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Austin’s family and the local LGBTQ community,” said Williams.  “Dante was a person who believed in and cared about everybody,” Williams said. 

“He had the highest score on the Deputy Sheriff’s exam when he was hired in November 2013. He was our first openly gay deputy sheriff and we promoted him to become our first LGBTQ community liaison in May 2017. He was scheduled to be promoted to sergeant on July 1, 2019.”  Austin was an Army veteran, Williams said.

The pride flag outside Philadelphia City Hall will be lowered to half-staff on Friday in Austin’s honor.  Williams said the office closed at noon on Friday. Grief counselors will be provided for employees.  If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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Fugitive Watch was founded in 1992 by two San Jose police officers, Steve Ferdin and Scott Castruita. Fugitive Watch is a reality-based television show, newspaper and website, fugitive.com. We can also be found on social media such as InstagramFacebook, and Twitter. The mission of Fugitive Watch is to make Your community safer by helping law enforcement fight crime. Fugitive Watchbrings the community, local business, and law enforcement together to solve crimes, apprehend wanted fugitives and provide education and crime prevention information to the community.

Business and private sponsorship help Fugitive Watch empower the community to strike back at crime from the safety of their living rooms. Fugitive Watch has been credited by law enforcement with over several 1000 crimes solved or fugitives apprehended. Fugitive Watch also helps improve the safety of police officers by locating fugitives for law enforcement so they can more safely arrest them rather than unexpectedly running across them through extremely dangerous routine “chance encounters”. As law enforcement officers know all too well, These “chance encounters” have resulted in countless officer injuries and deaths.

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