PHILADELPHIA: Gay Sheriff’s Deputy And LGBT Liaison Found Dead At Office Desk Of Self-Inflicted Gunshot

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports:

A Philadelphia sheriff’s deputy who was a leader in the city’s gay community, and who a state legislator said “lifted up every room he ever stepped foot in,” was found dead at his desk in his Center City office Friday morning.

Deputy Sheriff Dante Austin, 27, was found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the office headquarters at 100 South Broad St., Sheriff Jewell Williams said. Police and medics raced to the building at 6:45 a.m. Friday, police said. Williams confirmed Austin’s death shortly after noon.

Austin, a U.S. Army veteran who was working in the Civil Enforcement Unit, was scheduled to be promoted to sergeant in the Sheriff’s Office on July 1, Williams said.

The mayor’s office has ordered the flag at City Hall to be flown at half-mast. Last year Austin and his partner were Philadelphia Pride’s first grand marshal couple. Coworkers say he had been upbeat in recent days.