A U.S. Capitol Police officer was among two dozen people whose deaths were linked to the blizzard that bared down this weekend on the mid-Atlantic and Northeast.
A spokesperson for the chief's office said Officer Vernon Alston, 44, suffered a heart attack Saturday while shoveling snow at his home in Delaware. Alston joined the force in 1996 and most recently served with the House Division.
"The death of Officer Alston is truly a tragic loss for the Alston family and the United States Capitol Police, which in fact is one in the same," said Chief of Police Kim Dine said in a statement Sunday. "Officer Alston was someone who loved his job, and his loss leaves a huge void in the hearts of all of the men and women at the USCP."
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U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada, expressed sadness over Alston’s passing and sympathy for his family.
"I'm saddened to learn that the U.S. Capitol Police has lost one of our own over the weekend as a result of the storm. For twenty years Officer Vernon Alston was a fixture on the Capitol grounds while keeping the community safe. I am always grateful for the dedication and sacrifice of the Capitol Police force and Officer Alston was an exemplar of that. My thoughts are with Officer Alston's family during this difficult time."
According to Politico, Alston was taken to Kent County Hospital, in Dover, Delaware, where he died.