Officer Arthur Kenneth Hennesay

Officer Arthur Kenneth Hennesay

El Centro Police Department, California

End of Watch Tuesday, May 3, 1977

Arthur Kenneth Hennesay

Officer Arthur Hennesay and Officer John Vickers were shot and killed when they were ambushed as they answered a complaint of a stuck car horn in a motel parking lot.

As Officer Vickers was looking for the owner he was shot three times. Officer Hennesay arrived of the scene and was shot through his windshield. The next officer, arriving on the scene, arrested one suspect, a 22-year-old man, as two others ran from the scene. The other two suspects, a 24-year-old man and his 17-year-old wife, were captured at a nearby motel.

Three hours later the parents, of the first suspect arrested, were found shot to death at a motel they managed in San Diego. The car with the stuck horn belonged to them. All three suspects lived at the motel with them. All three were charged with four counts of murder. The two male suspects were convicted of four counts of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Officer Hennesay had served with the El Centro Police Department for 12 years. He is survived by his wife, son, and three daughters.


  • Age 43
  • Tour 12 years
  • Badge 323

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle; .30 caliber
  • Offender Sentenced to life

Most Recent Reflection

View all 16 Reflections

Art Hennesay was a unique, "real" man because he was actively involved with his family, his community, his church and strangers who were in need. Art was foremost a born-again Christian gentleman, involved as a Deacon and youth sponsor at the First Baptist Church in El Centro. Art was back on Patrol after having been a Detective and Evidence Photographer. He was a "go to" officer for many tasks, as is required on a small department. He assisted me in federal investigations. He showed special care for troubled young people. His favorite gospel song was "Shepherd Of Love," which his youth group choir sang for hundreds of mourners and police officers at the joint funeral for Officer John Vickers and him. His example was honorable and emphasized eternal values. He was my best friend, who I will see again. Thank you, Lord, for the memories and Art's influence on other lives.

Special Agent (Ret.) William Gleason
U.S. Customs Service

October 25, 2011

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