Kingsville Police Department Senior Patrolman Sherman Otto Benys Jr. died during the early morning hours Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021, at Christus Spohn Hospital-Shoreline in Corpus Christi, Texas, from a gunshot wound received in the line of duty while responding to an incident in the 300 block of South Wanda Drive in Kingsville on Nov. 1, 2021. Photo and illustration courtesy of Kingsville Police Department.
Kingsville Police Department Senior Patrolman Sherman Otto Benys Jr. was buried in Texas on Tuesday, Nov. 9. eight days after being shot while responding to a domestic disturbance.
After lingering for nearly three days at Christus Spohn Hospital-Shoreline in nearby Corpus Christi, he died early Nov. 4. Benys left behind a wife and three children. He was 58.
In a 12-minute eulogy he delivered during Benys’ Tuesday morning funeral service at St. Gertrude the Great Catholic Church, Kingsville Police Department Chief Ricardo Torres recalled the officer he’d known for a quarter-century as “all heart.”
Torres spoke of Benys as a loving husband and father who hated disciplining junior officers, grooved out to the rock bands Rush and AC/DC, and appreciated a cold Budweiser.
Torres told the audience in the church about the “emotional roller coaster” he and his department experienced in the days before Benys died, especially because they believed his condition had stabilized at the hospital.
“Then, within a couple of hours, he was gone,” Torres said. “I think that was more crushing than if he’d passed away right away. It was the hope, back and forth: He’s going to be OK. And us thinking, He’s going to get better.
“But, I think deep down and inside, he stayed around because he wanted to see his wife and his children, and his friends who actually got to go in and spend some time with him. They reflected with him. And I’m grateful for that. I’m grateful he got to do that. I’m grateful our personnel got to do that,” Torres continued.
Texas @GovAbbott has authorized the flying of flags at half-staff in Kleberg County and surrounding areas to honor fallen @Kingsville_PD Senior Patrolman Sherman Otto Benys Jr.@callerdotcom pic.twitter.com/CV5QgypSuZ
— Kailey E. Hunt (@KaileyEHunt) November 4, 2021
Torres has provided scant details into the moments before Benys was shot, promising to release more information in the coming weeks after an official probe is completed.
But an obituary published by his family indicated the officer’s arrival on Nov. 1 in the 300 block of South Wanda Drive saved lives and that Benys “took that domestic violence call on his way into work,” which typified a selfless man who was “always early, and the answer was always yes.”
A funeral procession took Benys’ body from St. Gertrude the Great Catholic Church past the Kingsville Police Department and then to Chamberlain Cemetery, where he was buried with full police honors shortly after noon on Tuesday.
The Turcotte-Piper Mortuary in Kingsville handled all funeral and burial arrangements.
Senior Patrolman Sherman Otto Benys Jr. was born Jan. 18, 1963, to Sherman and Joan Benys, née Franks, in Corpus Christi, according to his obituary.
The firstborn child, he was raised in the Calallen district of Corpus Christi alongside his sisters Claire and Michelle, and enjoyed participating in Future Farmers of America programs.
Although Benys was a chef in upscale restaurants in Corpus Christi and Dallas in the 1980s, he moved to Kingsville to work in the agriculture section of the sprawling King Ranch.
On May 30, 1992, he married his Calallen High School prom date, Vicki Brand. Four years later, Benys joined the Kingsville Police Department.
He graduated from Texas A&M University-Kingsville in 2000.
Benys was preceded in death by his father. He’s survived by his mother; sisters; wife; children Bailey Marie Benys, Benjamin Augustus Benys, and Breanne (Jordon) Polhemus; and grandchildren Ethan, Easton, Emarie, and Everlie Polhemus.
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Carl Prine is a former senior editor at Coffee or Die Magazine. He has worked at Navy Times, The San Diego Union-Tribune, and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He served in the Marine Corps and the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. His awards include the Joseph Galloway Award for Distinguished Reporting on the military, a first prize from Investigative Reporters & Editors, and the Combat Infantryman Badge.
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