Locals gathered Saturday morning for an indoor triathlon and fundraiser that served as a tribute to a beloved San Diego Police Department (SDPD) officer killed in the line of duty.
The 2017 Tri-N-Harder-4-Kids event brought a large group to the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center in La Jolla for a 10-minute pool swim, a 20-minute cycling session on stationary bikes and a 15-minute run on treadmills. The triathlon was hosted by STAR/PAL, in partnership with the SDPD, in memory of fallen officer Jeremy Henwood.
In early August 2011, San Diego Police Department (SDPD) Henwood was critically shot while patrolling in City Heights. Dejon Marquee, a 23-year-old man with a death wish, pulled up alongside the officer’s patrol car and opened fire in the deadly, unprovoked attack.
Moments before Henwood was shot, the officer had stopped to eat at a McDonald’s on Fairmount Avenue. There, the officer noticed a boy who was hungry and short on change. In his final act of kindness before his death, Henwood bought cookies for the boy. The two shared a smile and some small talk, and Henwood told the boy to work hard. The tender moment was caught on surveillance tape and is remembered by many San Diegans.
In the spirit of Henwood’s kindness and generosity, SDPD officers hoped Saturday’s triathlon would help children in need in San Diego.
Donations pledged to the event benefitted STAR/PAL youth programs in underserved communities and the San Diego Police Officer Association’s Law Enforcement Memorial Fund, which helps families of fallen officers and officers injured on duty.
“Officer Henwood and fellow like-minded officers, whose generosity and passion to support local youth, are invaluable & critical to the STAR/PAL mission,” organizers of the triathlon said in a press release.
More than five years have passed since Henwood, also a U.S. Marine who completed three tours of service in the Middle East, was killed in the line of duty. If he were alive today, he’d be just 42 years old.
Today, a park named after Henwood stands in City Heights, dedicated to the slain officer's life of service.