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Slain San Diego officer remembered for good deeds

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A San Diego police officer who was killed in the line of duty is being remembered for his good deeds.

Officer Jeremy Henwood was shot and killed as he sat in his patrol car Aug. 7 in an unprovoked attack. A short time later, police shot and killed the suspected assailant during a confrontation.

Minutes before Henwood was shot, he helped a young boy buy some cookies. His brief conversation with the child left a lasting impression.

"Me and the officer were talking about what I wanted to be when I grew up," said 13-year-old Daveon Tinsley outside of the McDonald's where he and Henwood last spoke.

"It's going to change my life big for the rest of my life," said Tinsley.

Tinsely and his father viewed the surveillance video for the first time after it was released by the police department. After Henwood placed his order, the footage shows Tinsley doing something he's never done before - talk to a police officer.

"I was looking around like, 'How do I do this? How am I going to do this?' And then I went up to him and just asked him," Tinsley said.

He asked Henwood for a dime to buy more cookies. The two talked about how Tinsley wanted to play in the NBA. Henwood told the boy that takes hard work.

Tinsley lives a stone's throw from the park where a vigil was held for Henwood. And though their conversation at the nearby McDonald's was brief, Tinsley's father Jerry Tinsley said the result will be a lifetime of commitment.

Jerry Tinsely can certainly identify with Henwood, who not only served the city in a police uniform but also served his country as a captain in the Marine Corps. Jerry Tinsley is a 20-year veteran of the Navy.

"He took the time to have a conversation with my son. It means a lot because he paid it forward just for two or three minutes. He did something for his life he will never forget," said Jerry Tinsely.

Forgetting won't be on Daveon Tinsley's radar. On the day Henwood was killed, the boy remembers seeing a crowd of police cars down the block - the most he's ever seen gather in one place.

But he hadn't put two and two together until he went back to the McDonald's the day after. When he and Henwood parted company that day, they waved to one another, a wave Daveon Tinsley sees over and over in his sleep.

"It goes in slow motion like this, like I'm saying bye to him like bye bye forever," he said.

Police officers gave Daveon Tinsley and his family a tour of their station Wednesday in honor of Officer Henwood.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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san diego, shooting, california news, phillip palmer
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