NHP trooper killed near Ely

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Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter

A Nevada Highway Patrol trooper was shot and killed early Friday morning near Ely.

According to the NHP, at approximately 5:54 a.m., a Nevada Highway Patrol sergeant had stopped to assist a motorist on US-93 and White Pine county mile marker 106, north of Ely.

The NHP says that during this contact, the motorist open fired on Sgt. Ben Jenkins, who was struck and killed. NHP says the motorist stole the sergeant’s uniform and fled the scene in Sgt. Jenkins’ patrol vehicle.

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Following a search that lasted several hours, the suspect, John Dabritz, a 65-year-old White Pine resident, was located and taken into custody with the assistance of multiple agencies.

NHP public information officer Hannah DeGoey said the 47-year-old Sgt. Ben 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.

“Without question, Sgt. Jenkins was a hero to his community, his law enforcement colleagues, the State of Nevada and our country,” said Director George Togliatti. “This is a tremendous loss for the Nevada Highway Patrol, his family, and everyone Sgt. Jenkins touched during his long and honorable career in public service. My thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones during this period of mourning.”

Sgt. Jenkins is survived by his wife, his mother, four children, and five grandchildren.

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