CAMERON COUNTY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Omar Lucio, the former Cameron County Sheriff was hospitalized overnight and passed away around 2 a.m. on Monday.

This came as a shock to many as they reacted and expressed their condolences on social media.

Cameron County officials also shared their memories from their time working with him and personal experiences.

“He was a man of great family values, great character, great integrity,” said Cameron County Commissioner, David A. Garza.

Garza said he knew Lucio since the early 1970s as he was a friend of his father-in-law.

He said at that time Lucio was working as a police officer for the Harlingen Police Department.

Harlingen Police Chief Michael Kester said he worked as a police officer with Lucio as his lieutenant.

“He was my supervisor, so he had to teach me a few things which he did over the years. It was a special time for me,” said Chief Kester.

Lucio had a long background in law enforcement as the chief of police for the city of Mercedes, captain of police for the city of Harlingen, and Cameron County Sherrif.

“He never left law enforcement, he continued as a law enforcement officer. He never betrayed the badge,” said Garza.

During his time in law enforcement, Lucio made an impact on many people both professionally and personally.

“He was the people’s sheriff. He would shake everybody’s hand, he would just be somebody that you would want to be close to. He was somebody that would make an impression on you,” said Luis V. Saenz, Cameron County district attorney.

Garza said he last saw Lucio about three weeks prior to his death and noticed he was struggling with his health but was still in great spirits.

“I’m really glad that he was a friend, I’m really glad that he was a great servant to our county and the constituents of this county, and most of all he was a great father, grandfather, and family man to his family,” said Garza.