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Shooting of B.C. hockey dad in driveway was case of mistaken identity: police

Last Updated Jul 19, 2018 at 7:20 pm EDT

Paul Bennett is shown in this undated police handout photo. Homicide investigators say the murder of a hockey dad and dedicated nurse in Surrey, B.C., was a case of mistaken identity. Paul Bennett was shot in his driveway on June 23 and died of his wounds in hospital. His widow, Darlene Bennett, says Paul wasn't involved in criminal activity and she never thought he would die of such violence, especially in their quite neighbourhood. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Integrated Homicide Investigation Team

SURREY, B.C. – The wife of a man gunned down in what police say was a case of mistaken identity is pleading for any information that would solve the murder the family is struggling to understand.

Paul Bennett, 47, was shot in his driveway in Surrey, B.C., on the afternoon of June 23. The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team said Thursday he was the unintended victim of a targeted shooting.

Darlene Bennett described her husband as the kind of man who wore his heart on his sleeve, volunteered his time freely, both as a hockey coach for their boys or to fill a call shift at the hospital where he worked.

“He loved being a nurse, especially working in the operating room,” she said Thursday. “He found his element in the midst of chaos. There’s always opportunity to save a life or improve it.”

He didn’t have a criminal record and wasn’t involved in any criminal activity, she told a news conference through tears.

“We are grieving and traumatized by his loss and praying to understand why this has happened to our family. “

Bennett was shot in front of his home at about 4 p.m. in what Darlene Bennett said was complete disregard for public safety in a quiet residential area.

Cpl. Frank Jang of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team said people involved in such shootings aren’t interested in public safety.

He said the death of the beloved father, hockey coach, brother and husband is tragic.

Police released surveillance video from a home in the area showing just a few seconds of a newer, four-door Honda Civic driving past.

Jang said it is associated with the homicide and police need anyone who has information to come forward.

“We are working very hard to determine who the intended target was. That is one of our priorities, for investigators and our partners.”

Two teenagers, aged 16 and 17, were also murdered in June. They were found on a road in Surrey in what police believe was a targeted shooting.

A task force aimed at preventing gang violence in Surrey released a report earlier this month recommending more police enforcement, an expanded gang exit program and an initiative that would allow businesses to ban alleged gangsters from their premises.