Paul Bennett’s wife Darlene, right, speaks to media as Paul’s sister Jackie Arthur looks on. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

Murder investigation

B.C. hockey coach, nurse was killed in case of mistaken identity, police say

In Surrey, 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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

ALBERNI GOLF: First scramble of the 2020 season a success

60 golfers participated in the J & L Mixed Scramble

Kuu-us Crisis Line Society hands out hygiene kits in Port Alberni

Kuu-us and Salvation Army team up to bring food, hygiene kits to those who need them

Port Alberni RCMP look for witnesses of daytime assault

A woman was assaulted while jogging in North Port

Racist incident shocks Tseshaht First Nation

Port Alberni RCMP looking for information

Federal government says no to relaxing log export rules

News comes after Steelworkers, Mosaic ask for ‘temporary relief’ on log export policy

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

An ongoing updated list of Alberni Valley events affected by COVID-19

Has your event been cancelled or postponed? Check here

Murder charge upgraded in George Floyd case, 3 other cops charged

Floyd’s family and protesters have repeatedly called for criminal charges against all four officers

Police look for suspect after alleged assault at gas station in Nanaimo

Victim says he was punched in the head several times in late April at business in South Wellington

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

Bank of Canada keeps key interest rate target on hold at 0.25%

Central bank now expects GDP to decline between 10 and 20 per cent compared with the fourth quarter of 2019

Friendly Cove and Kyuquot will remain closed until further notice

Transition of other B.C. communities will be monitored before a decision to ease restrictions

Gold River organizes a shop local initiative to creatively boost economy

Local purchases can earn shoppers $200 gift certificates to be spent on businesses within Gold River

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo shore

DFO marine mammal rescue unit was en route as whale broke free from prawn trap line

Most Read