Darlene Bennett makes tearful plea for public to help police identify her husband Paul Bennett’s killer, as his sister Jackie Arthur looks on. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)

Murder investigation

Murdered Surrey hockey coach and nurse was ‘innocent victim’ of mistaken identity, police say

Paul Bennett’s wife makes a tearful plea for help in finding her husband’s killer

SURREY — A Cloverdale man shot dead in his driveway last month was not involved in crime and was an innocent victim of mistaken identity, homicide investigators said Thursday.

“An innocent man lost his life,” said Cpl Frank Jang of the RCMP’s Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT). “An unintended victim of a targeted shooting.”

Paul Bennett, 47, a hockey coach and operating-room nurse, was killed on the afternoon of June 23 in the 18200-block of 67A Avenue.

During a press conference at BC RCMP headquarters on Green Timbers Way in Surrey, Jang told media IHIT is making Bennett’s murder a top priority.

“Someone out there is responsible for his murder and we’re going to do our utmost to find that person.”

Bennett’s wife Darlene, made a tearful plea for help in finding her husband’s killer.

“We remember Paul’s life as a husband, father, brother and son,” she said, with Paul’s sister Jackie Arthur standing next to her in support. “He wore his heart on his sleeve and was a presence in the room.

“We never not thought he would die in such a senseless and violent way. There was a complete disregard to public safety as he was murdered in a quiet residential area.”

“Paul spent his life helping others,” she said, crying. “Now please help Paul and our family find the closure we need to move forward.”

During the press conference, police played a surveillance video of the suspect’s car driving away from Bennett’s home.

There have been no arrests made and no one has been charged in connection with Bennett’s murder.

• RELATED: Man shot dead in Cloverdale ID’d as hockey coach and father of two, from June 24.

Meanwhile, a Celebration of Life is planned for Bennett. The memorial event will take place Friday afternoon (July 20) at Newlands Golf & Country Club in Langley, from 1 to 3 p.m.

Bennett’s family has extended an invitation to members of Cloverdale Minor Hockey Association, for which Bennett coached an Atom team last season.

“The day will be about sharing fond memories and stories of Paul and his impact on all of the lives that he touched,” association president Marty Jones wrote in a Facebook post.

“We would encourage Colts players to wear either their Colts jackets or Colts practice jerseys to identify themselves as members of the Colts. Members of Paul’s former teams are encouraged to wear those jerseys.”

An online fundraiser in Bennett’s name has raised more than $43,000 in 24 days. The “Paul Bennett (In Memory)” page at gofundme.com, launched by friend and co-worker Tammy Larson, has collected donations from more than 300 people since it was created on June 24 with a goal of raising $50,000 to “help his family when they are going to need it most.”

Bennett worked as an operating-room nurse department manager at Peace Arch Hospital in White Rock. Eleven days before he died, Bennett was featured in a video posted by Peace Arch Hospital Foundation, explaining “the ABCs of laparoscopic surgery.”

In the days following his death, foundation executive director Stephanie Beck said Bennett was considered exemplary by foundation staff and hospital staff alike.

“He was so well-respected in the hospital, a superstar in the OR,” Beck said. “He was extraordinary.”



edit@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow us on Twitter

 

Cloverdale resident Paul Bennett in a photo posted to his Facebook page.

Just Posted

White Rock pier-plank purchasers celebrated

Donors received a certificate Sunday marking their purchase of a pier plank

White Rock looking at 3.9% tax increase

Budget discussions are to take place this week

PHOTOS: White Rock Festival of Lights celebrated with a cheer

Hundreds of people gathered in the city Saturday for a Christmas event

Plans for new Surrey hospital to be updated Monday

News conference announced by Premier Horgan and health minister Adrian Dix

Surrey 37 per cent behind in housing supply projections

Of 18 cities in Metro Vancouver, only City of North Vancouver and Richmond met or exceeded projections

VIDEO: SNL skewers Trudeau’s mockery of Trump in high school cafeteria sketch

The three world leaders won’t let Trump sit at the cool kids’ table

B.C. universities post $340 million worth of surpluses thanks to international student tuition

Students call for spending as international enrolment produces huge surpluses at many universities

Conservatives urge Morneau to deliver ‘urgent’ fall economic update

Morneau says the first thing the Liberals plan to do is bring in their promised tax cut for the middle class

INFOGRAPHIC: How much money did your local university or college make last year?

B.C. university and colleges posted a combined $340 million surplus in 2018/19

B.C. creates $8.5M organization to improve safety for health care workers

Group will bring together unions, province, health care organizations

Four men in hospital after early morning Vancouver stabbing

A large group of men was seen fighting in Yaletwon

Kovrig clings to humour as ‘two Michaels’ near one year in Chinese prison

Their detention is widely viewed as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Chinese high-tech scion Meng Wanzhou

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

Most Read

l -->