LOVELADY, Texas (KETK) – The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) announced on Tuesday they are mourning the death of a correctional officer.

27-year-old Jovian Motley died in the line of duty on Monday while serving at the Wainwright Unit in Houston County, according to the TDCJ. Officials said he was assisting other officers in restraining an inmate when he died.

“Officer Motley was a hero who tragically died while protecting his fellow officers and the public,” TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier said. “His courage and dedication will forever be remembered. We are praying for his family, friends and co-workers during this difficult time.”

The Office of the Inspector General is investigating the incident, and the TDCJ said it is an ongoing criminal investigation.

“Officer Motley demonstrated unwavering commitment to serving his community and gave his life for others,” Texas Board of Criminal Justice Chairman Eric Nichols said. “His sacrifice is a solemn reminder of the bravery exhibited every day by the men and women in corrections. He will never be forgotten.”

In a statement, Gov. Greg Abbott said we must never take for granted the service and sacrifice of correctional officers.

“Texas grieves for the loss of one of its brave correctional officers, who selflessly put his life on the line each day to protect his community, fellow officers, and Texans,” Abbott said. “Cecilia and I pray for Officer Jovian Motley and his family and ask all Texans to keep his loved ones in their prayers during this heartbreaking time.”