Patrolman Royce Leroy Bennett

Patrolman Royce Leroy Bennett

Deming Police Department, New Mexico

End of Watch Wednesday, July 25, 1979

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Royce Leroy Bennett

Patrolman Royce Bennett was shot and killed during a traffic stop of a subject who was known to him.

The vehicle stopped in a motel parking lot on U.S. Route 70.

As he approached the vehicle the man shot a rifle through the driver's window, striking Patrolman Bennett in the chest. His vest stopped the round but the impact caused fatal injuries. Before succumbing to his wound he was able to return fire, but did not strike the subject.

The man was acquitted of Patrolman Bennett's murder but was later shot and killed by a Florida Highway Patrol trooper during a traffic stop in which he opened fire on the trooper.

Patrolman Bennett was a U.S. Army veteran and had served with Deming Police Department for just under 18 months. He was survived by his wife and son.


  • Age 25
  • Tour 1 year, 6 months
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle; 45.70
  • Offender Shot and killed

Most Recent Reflection

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My father, also a police officer in Deming, pulled up on this scene just as the shooting started. I've forgotten a lot of things about my life, but I've never forgotten this officer and how he was set up to be murdered. I'd like the family to know the great impact his death had on our family and that he's been in my prayers for almost 40 years.

DPD officer's daughter

April 12, 2018

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