James Leroy Bennett, Badge #103
Decatur Police Department, Texas
End of Watch: Thursday, April 3, 1980
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 suspect fled the scene but was quickly apprehended. He was found guilty of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison. Officer Bennett had been employed with the Decatur Police Department for six years.