SLO police detective shot and killed in line of duty had Bay Area roots

The family of a slain San Luis Obispo police officer is preparing to lay him to rest. Det. Luca Benedetti was shot and killed while serving a warrant Monday. A second detective was wounded but will survive.

Unabated flower deliveries continued Thursday at San Luis Obispo police headquarters. This, as the community morns the loss of Detective Luca Benedetti.

"It was just unbelievable that it would happen here," said long-time resident Joan Watson.

Benedetti was one of two detectives hit by a suspect’s gunfire while serving a warrant. He was pronounced dead a short time later.

"We call upon law enforcement officers to respond to the most hyper-dramatic sets of circumstances. And often times it unfortunately brings about this result," said Greg Woods, a professor in the San Jose State University Dept. of Justice Studies.

The 12-year-veteran officer graduated from Burlingame High School, but grew up in San Bruno, on the Peninsula.

He is one of two California peace officer to die this week. Tuesday, less than 24 hours after Benedetti was gunned down, a suspect shot and killed Stockton officer Jimmy Inn during a domestic dispute.

"I know it’s been a rough year, it’s been a rough couple of years for the men and women in blue," said Rep. Kevin McCarthy, (R) Minority Leader.

The dual loss of life comes the same week the nation pays tribute to fallen law enforcement officers. Congressional leaders said 295 peace officers died in the line of duty last year, and will have their names added to the Washington, D.C., memorial. A large portion of that number died due to COVID-19 infection.

"It’s one of the deadliest years in the history of law enforcement. We pray for all the heroes and families listed on the memorial wall," said Rep. McCarthy.

Those prayers are echoed in three California communities, dealing with the high cost that comes with the ultimate sacrifice.

"It’s always a tragic thing when something like that happens. And it affects all of us," said Adan Orozco, spokesman for Cal Fire – San Luis Obispo.

Funeral Services for Det. Benedetti will be 10 a.m. May 20 at the Cal Poly Performing Arts Center. Services for Officer Inn have not yet been announced.