Patrol Officer James Leroy Bennett

Patrol Officer James Leroy Bennett

Decatur Police Department, Texas

End of Watch Thursday, April 3, 1980

James Leroy Bennett

Officer James Bennett was shot and killed when he stopped a suspect wanted for stealing a .22 caliber rifle in a nearby town.

The traffic stop occurred on US 380, about one mile east of Decatur. As Officer Bennett approached the vehicle, the suspect exited with the rifle, pointed it at Officer Bennett, and told him to put his hands up. Officer Bennett complied but the suspect opened fire and shot him in the throat.

The 17-year-old suspect fled the scene but was quickly apprehended. He was found guilty of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison. He was denied parole in December, 2015. His next parole hearing is in November, 2020.

Officer Bennett had been employed with the Decatur Police Department for six years, and is survived by his wife and son.


  • Age 45
  • Tour 6 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle; .22 caliber
  • Offender Sentenced to life

Most Recent Reflection

View all 16 Reflections

I can only imagine how proud you are of your son and grandsons. And what you would give to still be here today and watch them grow. Thank you for your service James. You will NEVER be forgotten. Heroes Live Forever!

Ashlee Hardy
Surviving Spouse D. Weston Hardy Plano PD EOW 7/7/07

October 21, 2016

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