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

Fire destroys home in Surrey

Crews called at 3 a.m. Sunday for a residential house fire on the 12000-block of 100 Avenue

Alzheimer’s Society launches helpline

Toll-free phone line available for people with dementia and their caretakers

Art show to be held at White Rock’s Jan’s on the Beach

Art to be displayed until the end of December

New detox centre opens in South Surrey

WhiteRock EHN opened in response to opioid crisis

Hells Angels on scene after body found in Maple Ridge

Body was discovered beneath the Golden Ears Bridge

Mountie left with ‘significant’ injuries after driver attempts to flee traffic stop

Richmond RCMP are looking for a dark coloured Mercedes Benz

B.C. asking for tips on ‘dirty money’ in horse racing, real estate, luxury cars

Action follows a Peter German report on money laundering in B.C. casinos

Canadian dead more than a week after plane crash in Guyana: Global Affairs

Global Affairs said it couldn’t provide further details on the identity of the Canadian citizen

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Victoria spent $30,000 to remove John A. Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

Privacy concerns over credit card use for legal online pot purchases

Worries follow privacy breaches at some Canadian cannabis retailers

Vancouver Police look for man in connection to ‘sexually motivated’ assault

Woman says man followed her into an apartment building

NEB approves operating pressure increase to repaired Enbridge pipeline

The pipeline burst outside of Prince George on Oct. 9, now operating at 85 per cent

Most Read