SAN DIEGO — City officials gathered at a City Heights park Thursday to officially dedicate it in memory of a military veteran police officer gunned down while patrolling the busy district three summers ago.
The late-morning ceremony christened a grassy section of Urban Village Square on Fairmount Avenue in the name of Jeremy Henwood, a four-year San Diego Police Department member and Marine reservist who served repeat deployments in Middle East war zones.
On Aug. 6, 2011, Henwood, 36, was on duty in a marked San Diego Police Department cruiser when a suicidal young man pulled up alongside him on University Avenue at 45th Street and opened fire with a .12-gauge shotgun. The officer died in a hospital early the next day.
About a half-hour later, police shot and killed the assailant when he allegedly reached for the weapon after they confronted him near his apartment, a few blocks from the site of the murder.
Councilwoman Marti Emerald, whose district includes the area, hailed Henwood as someone “universally respected by his colleagues and the people of City Heights.”
“Naming our community square after Officer Henwood will be a fitting honor to this fine young man and all that he represented — men and women everywhere who are willing to lay down their lives to protect others,” she said.
The late officer’s mother, Beverly Henwood, said the true extent of her son’s admirable traits had become clear following his death.
“This whole 2 1/2 years has made us realize that we never really knew how committed and kind and generous and loyal and (what) a wonderful human being that he really was,” she told the gathering in a halting voice.
Attending the dedication along with Henwood’s family and close friends were Police Chief William Lansdowne and other high-ranking SDPD officials.