By NICOLE PELLETIERE, ABC News(HARTFORD, Conn.) -- A retired Connecticut state trooper who was a first responder to the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting has died after battling COVID-19, according to police officials.Patrick Dragon died Jan. 2, 2021, at Hartford Hospital. The 50-year-old was working as a deputy chief of the East Brooklyn Fire Department and a police dispatcher in Foster, Rhode Island, before his death.In a recent Facebook post, Chief David J. Breit of the Foster Police Department said Dragon was a "great person, kind, caring and a friend to all who met him.""There are not enough words, to describe the kind of person that Patrick was. The men and women of the Foster Police Department, express our deepest sympathies to Patrick's family," Breit wrote, also confirming in the post that Dragon died as a result of COVID-19.Dragon was a member of the 107th Training Troop and entered the State Police Training Academy on Jan. 9, 1998, according to Connecticut State Police.After graduating from the academy, Dragon served as a patrol trooper in Danielson, a resident trooper in the town of Sterling, a detective in the Eastern District Major Crime Squad and a detective in the Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit.Dragon was also among the first to respond to the Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown, where 20 children and six educators were killed on Dec. 14, 2012, after a gunman opened fire inside the grade school.Dragon retired from the police force in 2018.Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.