SURREY (NEWS 1130) – Homicide investigators have confirmed a deadly shooting in Surrey that killed a father and local minor hockey coach last month was a case of mistaken identity.
Paul Bennett, 47, was shot dead in the area of 182A St. and 67A Ave. on June 23, 2018.
“Mr. Bennett was not known to police. He did not have a criminal record and he had no associations to any form of criminality,” says Cpl. Frank Jang.
“This was a mistaken identity. Paul Bennett was an innocent victim.”
There have been no arrests in the case.
Bennett’s widow, Darlene, has issued a tearful plea to the public to help police find the killer.
Bennett’s family is asking anyone with information to contact police: pic.twitter.com/4MFYU59GWQ
— Martin MacMahon (@martinmacmahon) July 19, 2018
“We remember Paul’s life as a husband, father, brother, and son — as being normal as any of our lives,” says Bennett’s widow, Darlene. “He wore his heart on his sleeve and was a presence in the room. He had an easy ability to converse with anyone on any topic. He was a people person and relished being around others.”
“He volunteered his time freely, whether it be to coach the boys in sports or pick up unfilled call shifts at the hospital.”
“We never thought he would die in such a senseless and violent way”
Darlene adds her husband loved to be a nurse.
“In the midst of chaos, there’s always opportunity to save a life or improve it. He was a compassionate and caring individual who could be an empathetic listener. He made you feel valued and appreciated. He loved our boys and encouraged them in sports and supported their dreams. He was Paul. One of those exceptional people not everyone is lucky to meet in their lives.
“We never thought he would die in such a senseless and violent way. There was a complete disregard for public safety, as he was murdered in a quiet residential area. We are grieving and traumatized by this loss and praying to understand why this has happened to our family.”
Homicide investigators have described a car that was seen in the area the day Bennett was killed.
“Video surveillance captured a newer model four-door silver Honda civic leaving the area. Our investigators would like to speak with anyone that has information about this particular vehicle,” says Jang.
He adds they are still working to determine who the intended target was.
Darlene Bennett is pleading for anyone who knows anything about the shooting will help call the police. “We would be eternally grateful if you are able to provide the police with any information.”
Anyone with information about the killing is asked to call the IHIT information line at 1-877-551-IHIT (4448), or by email. You can also call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
“Paul spent his life helping others. Now, please help Paul and our family find the closure we need to move forward.”
– With files from Martin MacMahon