ELY, Nev. – Sergeant Ben Jenkins, a 12-year veteran of the Nevada Highway Patrol was shot and killed just before 6 A.M. Friday March 27, 2020 by a 65-year-old White Pine man.
Overwhelming support for NHP Sgt. Ben Jenkins as his body is escorted to the Clark County Coroner’s Office. Agencies from all around the Vegas Valley and beyond part of the procession line honoring the fallen officer. #RIP @News3LV pic.twitter.com/r5VUGSqmdV— Tiffany Lane (@TiffanyNews3LV) March 28, 2020
Sgt. Jenkins had stopped to assist a driver on US-93 at White Pine County mile marker 106, north of Ely when 65-year-old John Dabritz, shot the Patrol Sergeant, stole his uniform, then took off in the sergeant’s patrol vehicle, authorities said.
Dabrtiz was found several hours later near Cherry Creek, about 18 miles south from the scene of the shooting. He has a record of arrests going back to 1973. The weapon he used was not known.
Sgt. Jenkins was an Elko native who devoted his life to public service and to serving Nevadans. He began working for the Nevada Highway Patrol in March 2008 as a Trooper in Jackpot and was promoted to Sergeant in Elko in 2017.
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.
Sgt. Jenkins is survived by his wife, his mother, four children, and five grandchildren.