A 9/11 first responder has become the first member of the federal agency that regulates guns and alcohol to die from cancer related to the terrorist attack, authorities said Thursday. Special agent William Sheldon Jr. was 47, reports the New York Daily News.
The Milwaukee native and Army veteran was stationed in the Queens field office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when the Twin Towers fell on Sept. 11, 2001, according to an agency spokesman. He and four other agents rushed to Ground Zero to search for survivors.
Sheldon and two other colleagues were later diagnosed with cancer that physicians from the World Trade Center Commission linked to exposure to debris from the towers, according to the ATF bureau.
After a yearlong battle with the disease, Sheldon died Monday. He is survived by his wife and two young children.