Lancaster, OH – Lancaster Police Lieutenant Brian Lowe died suddenly on Saturday, as he and another off-duty officer were preparing to practice martial arts.
Lt. Lowe, 46, had gone to his fellow officer’s home for their workout routine, where he was struck by a “exercise-induced” medical event, the Lancaster Eagle Gazette reported.
“They were just outside warming up when Brian collapsed,” Lancaster Police Chief Adam Pillar said.
An autopsy has been performed, but the cause of Lt. Lowe’s unexpected death has not been released.
“Lt. Brian Lowe #34 unexpectedly passed away yesterday while off-duty,” the Lancaster Police Department said in a Facebook post on Sunday. “This is a shock to our entire agency and he is sadly missed.”
“We would like to thank everyone who immediately stepped in to assist our agency last night, as well as the hundreds of people/organizations that continue to show support at this very moment,” the agency said.
The Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office also offered to help cover calls for the department, while the Fairfield Medical Center Police provided Lancaster officers with a room where they could gather together in the wake of the lieutenant’s sudden passing, the Lancaster Eagle Gazette reported.
“They extended every courtesy they possibly could,” Chief Pillar said.
“We're all shocked and saddened," Chief Pillar told the Lancaster Eagle Gazette on Monday. "Brian was a great servant to the community, and you couldn't find a more competent person to fill any position at the department. And we've got a lot of competent people in this building."
Prior to his career in law enforcement, Lt. Lowe served in the U.S. army as a paratrooper during Operation Desert Storm, according to his obituary.
He went on to earn a master’s degree at Northwestern University, and later taught classes at Ohio University Lancaster and Hocking College.
Lt. Lowe served as a law enforcement officer for over two decades, and led the department’s Detective Bureau and Community Services Unit for the past year, the Lancaster Eagle Gazette reported.
Lt. Lowe joined the Lancaster Police Department in 1996, after serving as an officer with the McArthur Police Department for three years.
He oversaw the agency’s Taser and bodycam programs as he worked his way up the ranks in Lancaster, and served on the department’s Special Response Team as a hostage negotiator.
Lt. Lowe was named Officer of the Year both in 2001 and 2005, adding to the many awards and commendations he received throughout his career.
“The Lancaster Police Department lost an amazing officer and friend,” the agency’s Facebook post read.
Lt. Lowe leaves behind his wife, Jocelyn, and their two children, as well as his parents and brother, according to his obituary.
He will be laid to rest on Friday.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Lancaster Police Lieutenant Brian Lowe, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.