Thousands of mourners gathered Friday to remember slain Officer Jeremy Henwood – a man who served in two wars, only to be killed in a random attack in the line of duty.
Henwood, 36, died early Sunday morning from gunshot wounds he received while on patrol in City Heights Aug. 6.
"I think it goes without saying that Jeremy was a great man and a hero to our country," said Henwood's sister Emily at the memorial service. "Although his death is tragic I am extremely proud of the legacy that he will leave."
Henwood's brother Robbie spoke of the many generous acts his brother performed. In particular, Henwood was an organ donor. Since his death, two individuals have received his organs.
Friday morning police and citizen vehicles packed with people left Qualcomm Stadium in a motorcade to The Rock Church in Point Loma.
An estimated 3500 people and 600 law enforcement vehicles were in attendence, according to officials with SDPD and the church where the ceremony was held.
Law enforcement from all over the nation attuned the service, including former SDPD officers and police from neighboring counties. Every law enforcement agency in San Diego was represented.
“[Henwood] will not be defined by his death. He will be defined by his honor and his service and all that he did for his country, the city and the people he loved,” Mayor Jerry Sanders said.
Police Chief William Lansdowne said Henwood represented what was good in this country. He presented the flag which was draped over the casket to Henwood's parents. As service members left the ceremony, bagpipes played "Amazing Grace."
"Jeremy set a standard that raised the bar for all of us," Lansdowne said.
Lansdowne described how Henwood performed a random act of kindness moments before his death by buying a McDonald's meal for a child.
Captain Lawrence McKinney addressed officers who may have been questioning their actions that day, wondering if they could have changed the end result.
“Rest well in the knowledge that you did what you were supposed to do. This outcome was out of our hands,” he said. He also led a standing ovation for the citizens and dispatchers who helped officers respond to the shooting.
Henwood's parents thanked the Police Department and remembered how dedicated their son was to the force. His mother, Beverley, was especially proud of her son for having been promoted to Major posthumously.
Friends all described Henwood as selfless, generous and infectiously happy. One of his fellow marines and childhood friends said Henwood would have liked the service better if everyone were laughing over beers.
Henwood, who served with SDPD for four years, was assigned to the Mid-City Division. He was also a Captain in the United States Marine Corps Reserves and recently returned from deployment in Iraq.
Police say the suspect who allegedly shot Henwood, Dejon Marquee White, pulled up to Henwood's car after shooting a man in the face in El Cajon. He allegedly shot Henwood, unprovoked. Henwood died in the hospital a few hours later and White was shot and killed by police.
Several government officials attended the service, including Governor Jerry Brown, Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, Mayor of San Diego Jerry Sanders, San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne, members of the state assembly and members of the San Diego city council.
A host of officers from around the country were also represented according to SDPD Public Information officer, Andra Brown. Those officers included personal from Massachusetts State Trooper, Chicago PD, Phoenix PD, and Austin, Tx. Brown said there were Chiefs Of Police from Concord PD, Walnut Creek PD, and El Centro PD. LAPD patrol and motor officers, as well as Riverside and San Bernadino counties were represented.
Anyone who would like to donate to Henwood's memorial fund can mail a check to the San Diego Police Officer Association at:
Officer Jeremy Henwood Family Trust
c/o San Diego Police Officers Association
8388 Vickers Street, San Diego, CA 92111