NHP officer gunned down during attempt to assist motorist | TahoeDailyTribune.com

NHP officer gunned down during attempt to assist motorist

A Nevada Highway Patrol officer was gunned down Friday morning while making contact with a stopped motorist near Ely, Nev.

The NHP reports Friday afternoon that Sgt. Ben Jenkins, 47, stopped to assist a motorist on U.S. 93 and White Pine County mile marker 106, north of Ely, and was subsequently fired upon while making contact.

The suspect then stole the officer’s uniform and fled the scene in the patrol vehicle.

Following a search that lasted several hours, the suspect, John Dabritz, a 65-year-old White Pine resident, was located and taken into custody with the assistance of multiple agencies, according to a press release.

Jenkins was an Elko native who began working for the NHP in March 2008 as a trooper in Jackpot. He was promoted to sergeant in 2017 and based in Elko.

Prior to NHP, he was a training officer for the Nevada State Fire Marshal Division, a crew supervisor for the Nevada Division of Forestry, an assistant fire chief for the Spring Creek Volunteer Fire Department, and a veteran of both the Army National Guard and Air National Guard. In 2011, Jenkins received the Nevada Department of Public Safety’s highest honor, the Gold Medal of Valor, which is presented to officers who perform an extraordinary act of heroism.

“Without question, Sgt. Jenkins was a hero to his community, his law enforcement colleagues, the State of Nevada and our country,” said Director George Togliatti. “This is a tremendous loss for the Nevada Highway Patrol, his family, and everyone Sgt. Jenkins touched during his long and honorable career in public service. My thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones during this period of mourning.”

Sgt. Jenkins is survived by his wife, his mother, four children and five grandchildren. 

This is a time of tremendous grief for our agency, his family, and our communities. 

A memorial service is pending.

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