Chicago, IL – Chicago Police Officer Vinita Williams died in the line of duty on Tuesday morning, after she was found unconscious in the parking lot at the Calumet District station.
Officer Williams, 47, was rushed to a local hospital just after 4 a.m., after she suffered what may have been a heart attack, WBBM reported.
She was pronounced dead approximately an hour later, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
“A very hard day for the CPD as we grapple with the unexpected death of a # ChicagoPolice officer who fell unconscious at work this morning,” Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a tweet. “Deepest condolences to all.”
Officer Williams, a 13-year veteran of the force, was transported to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office with a full escort, Captured News reported.
“[The city has] lost an angel and a good protector,” longtime friend and Referee Magazine Editor Jason Palmer told the Chicago Sun-Times. “She was the type of person you’d want on the police force… She was a sweetheart.”
Officer Williams was a museum curator before she joined the department in her 30s, Palmer said.
She was looking forward to her 30th high school reunion, which was just two weeks away, he added.
In a Facebook post, Officer Williams’ coworker, Oliver Franklin Jr., described the fallen officer as a “loving mother and great friend,” who “always had a smile on her face.”
“This one hurts,” Franklin wrote. “I was honored to have been there with her at the end and escort her to the ambulance where she was given full honors to the m.e. You will be missed Vinita Williams. You touched everyone you came into contact with. We got your watch from here...”
Officer Williams leaves behind a husband and two sons, Palmer told the Chicago Sun-Times.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Chicago Police Officer Vinita Williams, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.