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Slain SDPD Officer Jeremy Henwood Remembered

Hundreds of people from law enforcement and other walks of life converged on Liberty Station today to honor the second San Diego police officer killed in the line of duty in less than a year.

Officer Jeremy Henwood

Above: Officer Jeremy Henwood

Officer Jeremy Henwood, a decorated ex-Marine who joined the police department four years ago, was gunned down last weekend in City Heights. The memorial service for the 36-year-old was scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. at The Rock Church in Liberty Station.

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and California Gov. Jerry Brown were among those joining hundreds of officers, military staff, friends and family to pay respects to Henwood.

A motorcade including hundreds of law enforcement vehicles from throughout the state set off around 8:30 a.m. from Qualcomm Stadium in Mission Valley and ended at the Rosecrans Street church. It took about a half-hour for the lead vehicles to reach the church. Those vehicles included a hearse carrying Henwood's body and a black limousine with his family inside.

Vehicles in the motorcade were driven with red and blue lights flashing, and fire vehicles parked along the motorcade route were flanked by firefighters and paramedics who stood at attention and saluted as the motorcade passed by.

Henwood, who served repeat deployments to combat zones, lost his life to a street shooting carried out by a suicidal, shotgun-wielding petty criminal who ambushed his patrol car in City Heights early Saturday evening.

The gunman, 23-year-old Dejon Marquee White of San Diego, had shot another man a short time earlier outside an El Cajon fast-food restaurant, according to police. The initial victim survived despite critical head and face injuries.

About 10 minutes later, White flashed his headlights while approaching Henwood's eastbound cruiser from behind on University Avenue, near 45th Street.

The assailant then pulled up alongside the officer, fired the gun into his driver's side window and sped off.

A woman who witnessed the shooting used Henwood's police radio to report what had happened. Medics took the mortally wounded officer to Scripps Mercy Hospital, where he succumbed to head wounds early Sunday morning.

About a half-hour after the attack, police found White's black Audi a few blocks away, near the suspect's apartment in the 4000 block of 48th Street.

When confronted by officers, White allegedly grabbed his shotgun, prompting them to open fire. He died at the scene.

White, who had a prior history of theft, reckless driving, resisting arrest and other minor crimes, had left behind a suicide note in his residence, but it made no mention of homicidal intentions and revealed no possible motive for the rampage, police said.

The slain officer, a Texas native, was a captain in the Marine Corps Reserve and had served three tours of duty in the past eight years -- twice in Iraq and, most recently, in Afghanistan. He earned numerous awards and decorations during his 15 years of military service.

The United States Honor Flag was flown to San Diego to be displayed beside Henwood throughout the memorial service. The significance of the flag is that it began with the Sept. 11 attacks and has traveled around the country to pay tribute to fallen heroes.

Henwood is survived by his parents, Beverly and Robbie, brother, Robbie Jr., and sister, Emily, all of San Antonio, Texas. His body was expected to be returned to Texas for burial following today's memorial service.

Henwood was the second San Diego police officer killed on the job within 10 months. In late October, Officer Chris Wilson, 50, was shot to death during a probation raid at a Skyline-area apartment complex.

Henwood's killing also closely followed the violent off-duty deaths of two other SDPD personnel. Veteran child-abuse Detective Donna Williams, 52, was stabbed to death at her home last month along with her teenage daughter, allegedly by the policewoman's mentally ill 24-year-old son. He faces two counts of murder in the case.

On Aug. 1, SDPD motorcycle Officer David Hall, a 14-year department veteran, shot himself to death in his backyard. Hall was awaiting trial on drunken driving and hit-and-run charges he was facing in connection with an off-duty collision in Serra Mesa.

The San Diego Police Officers Association has created a trust fund for the Henwood family. Contributions can be mailed to: Officer Jeremy Henwood Family Trust, c/o San Diego Police Officers Association, 8388 Vickers St, San Diego, CA 92111. Donors are asked to write "Officer Jeremy Henwood'' in the memo line of their checks.

Comments

Avatar for user 'Jesse Thomas'

Jesse Thomas | August 12, 2011 at 12:04 p.m. ― 3 years ago

I think the Memorial was a bit over the top.

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Avatar for user 'SGTJIM'

SGTJIM | August 16, 2011 at 5:23 p.m. ― 3 years ago

I wonder how "over the top" you'd think the memorial was if this officer was a member of YOUR family. This brave officer was " a captain in the Marine Corps Reserve and had served three tours of duty in the past eight years -- twice in Iraq and, most recently, in Afghanistan. He earned numerous awards and decorations during his 15 years of military service."

What have YOU done for society or your country lately?? I didn't think so.

The fact of the matter is it would be impossible to do too much for the memory of this officer or his family. Rest in peace brother.

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Avatar for user 'gooch'

gooch | August 16, 2011 at 7:25 p.m. ― 3 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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Avatar for user 'whidbeydc'

whidbeydc | August 16, 2011 at 9:13 p.m. ― 3 years ago

Seriously. I can't think of someone more deserving that I have heard of for sometime. You give liberal atheist a bad name...ironical, I know.

I am a bit confused though, since I could not find out the details of the shooting. Only that he was shot sitting in his squad car. You would think we'd have more thier to read about.

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Avatar for user 'adiffey'

adiffey | August 16, 2011 at 9:58 p.m. ― 3 years ago

I just wanted to say that my thought and prayers are with this officers family and I hope that they can find some comfort in the memories that they have of him. May God bless you and your family.

Also, the first comment was way out of line and you were right SGTJIM and gooch. It's not his family member that served this country in the military and the streets of San Diego, but of course you would actually have to be an American to understand that one. Guess his name says it all: libert ATHIEST. Anyway if you are going to live in this country it is a good idea for you to at least SUPPORT the people that are fighting for your freedom and keeping your family safe. So, unless you are going to join the military, strap on 75+ lbs of gear, grab an assault rifle, trek through the desert in 100+ degree weather and have insurgents shoot at you. It might be a good idea to keep your opinions to yourself and locked away in that pea size brain of yours. Just continue to make your family proud by doing absolutely nothing to ensure that they are safe. Leave that one to the REAL MEN and WOMEN of this country. Our Military Personnel and Police Officers. Oh and I am a firm believer in that if you make a stupid, worthless or idiotic comment. Your FREEDOM OF SPEECH rights should be revoked.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | August 17, 2011 at 9:35 a.m. ― 3 years ago

Oh and I am a firm believer in that if you make a stupid, worthless or idiotic comment. Your FREEDOM OF SPEECH rights should be revoked."

LOL There's going to be beaucoup revoking! Especially on the KFMB 8 website and signonsandiego.com.

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Avatar for user 'gooch'

gooch | August 17, 2011 at 11:49 a.m. ― 3 years ago

To ALL,
OK, so KPBS feels I was rash towards LIBERTATHIEST, my opinion, the solution to what happened is null, Im glad the guy who shot the officer is DEAD!!! I just returned from a stint in the "STAN" (Afghanistan), and previous deployments to Iraq, and this is what the problem is: This officer served the same duties, his whole concept was being alert, at all times 24-7, from suicide bombers, roadside IED's, forgotten UXO's, most of all, people who have no education what so ever, who are commited to killing the innocent. This is how we live, no showers for 20 or so days, eating limited high calorie meals, and our minds and mobility on over-drive depending on the mission. But at least this guy knew what he was fighting for, and was probably accepting his fate faithfully, if he was to die on someone elses soil, to come home and feel great that he made it back, the feeling is unspeakable, and the feeling is powerful, Now, he dies on his own soil, for no reason! God bless his family and his intentions. Myself and others understand, but some dont. R I P my fallen brother, SEMPER FI

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