What started as a pursuit of a stolen vehicle in downtown San Diego just after noon on June 26, ended a few minutes later, when the driver of the stolen flat bed truck purposely ran over San Diego P.D. Motor Officer Terry Bennett. Bennett was airlifted to a local hospital where he died a short time later. Bennett had just celebrated his 38th birthday and was a 13-year veteran of the police department.
Kevin Williams, the 37-year old ex-convict driver of the stolen vehicle that had run over Officer Bennett was arrested in a nearby residential area where he ditched the stolen vehicle and was attempting to escape on foot. Williams was well known to the local police, having spent most of his life in and out of jail and prison. He was last released from prison on February 25. Williams was booked on suspicion of murder, along with other lesser charges.
Bennett’s tragic and untimely death was being mourned citywide by members of the police department and the official city family. Motor Squad Supervisor Lt. Greg Drilling said that “Bennett’s death was like losing a loved one. You have two families when you’re in law enforcement – your own family and the people you work with”. San Diego Mayor Dick Murphy expressed regret over the police departments latest loss, which he called “doubly painful” since it came so soon after the death of San Diego P.D. Motor Officer Gerald Griffin just two months ago. “Everyday, the men and women of the San Diego Police Department risk their lives to protect us. So when we lose an officer, it’s a tragedy for all of us”.
Motor Officer Terry Bennett, a nine-year veteran of the Motor Squad enjoyed an enviable reputation for his skills on motors. Earlier in the month he and his partner had won the team championship in a skills competition among motorcycle officers in San Diego County.
If Terry Bennett cherished anything more than motors, it was most certainly his family; wife Michelle and his two young sons, Brennan, 8 and Connor, 4. Every possible moment away from the police department was spent with the family in planned activities.
Memorial services for Officer Terry Bennett were conducted on the morning of July 2 at the College Avenue Baptist Church in San Diego. Interment followed at El Camino Memorial Park. Our Attorney General Bill Lockyer was again present expressing
Regrets on behalf of his fellow Californians. He was joined by hundreds of uniformed officers from countless jurisdictions who had come to pay their respects to a fallen comrade and demonstrate their support to the Bennett family.
The San Diego Police Officers’ Association has established a fund honoring Terry Bennett and his survivors; wife Michelle and his two young sons, Brennan and Connor. Donations can be made by sending a check payable to the San Diego Police Officers’ Association, “The Bennett Fund”, at 8388 Vickers Street, San Diego, CA 92111-2109.