Patrolman First Class Ben Wesley Strickland

Patrolman First Class Ben Wesley Strickland

South Carolina Highway Patrol, South Carolina

End of Watch Friday, May 31, 1974

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Ben Wesley Strickland

Patrolman Ben Strickland was shot and killed after making a traffic stop of a speeding car at a rest stop on I-20 near Columbia.

After arresting the driver and placing him in handcuffs, the passenger approached him from behind and opened fire, killing him. Hours later a Cayce police officer spotted the car and pursued it into a subdivision where the two suspects exchanged shots with the officer as they abandoned the car and ran. The next night at a home in Columbia a man awoke to the sound of a shotgun blast through his front door. He was abducted by one suspect who forced him to drive to Columbia. As he was driving toward several police cars, the suspect attempted to crawl into the back seat. The driver slammed on the brakes, hit the suspect with his fist, and jumped out a ran to the police. Police officers discovered he had knocked the suspect out when they took him into custody. The other suspect was apprehended minutes later during a search of the area.

Both suspects, 21 and 22, were charged with murder. The gunman was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life. The other was convicted of accessory to murder and sentenced to 10 years.

Patrolman Strickland, a U.S. Army veteran, served as a St. George police officer before starting his 16-year career with the South Carolina Highway Patrol. He was survived by his wife and two sons.

In 2012, mile marker 49 on South Carolina's I-20 in Lexington County was named for him on the 38th anniversary of his death.

Bio

  • Age 40
  • Tour 16 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Shotgun
  • Offender Sentenced to life

traffic stop

Most Recent Reflection

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Always remembered brother.

Judge /Magistrate Sheridan (Danny) Lynn
Former S.C. Highway Patrol

May 31, 2021

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