Trooper's Killer Says He 'Wanted To Save Us From The Suffering Of Coronavirus'
Ely, NV – The man who murdered a state trooper who stopped to help him and stole his uniform and truck had been suffering paranoid delusions about coronavirus.
Nevada Highway Patrol (NHP) Sergeant Ben Jenkins was murdered in the line of duty on March 27 after he stopped to assist a motorist.
The attack occurred on U.S. Highway 93 near Ely just before 6 a.m. when the 47-year-old sergeant stopped to help another driver, KNTV reported.
"During this contact, the motorist opened fire," the NHP said, according to KUTV. "The motorist stole the sergeant's uniform and fled the scene in Sgt. Jenkins' patrol vehicle."
Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Hannah DeGoey said multiple shots were fired during the attack, according to KRXI.
Multiple agencies assisted the Nevada Highway Patrol in the search for the suspect, including the Washoe County Sheriff's Office helicopter, KRXI reported.
The gunman was ultimately taken into custody, according to KUTV.
He has been identified as 65-year-old John Dabritz.
Now the Las Vegas Review-Journal is reporting that Dabritz had been trying to warn people in his area that coronavirus was in their water and sewer systems murdered Sgt. Jenkins.
Court documents said the White Pine County Sheriff’s Office was contacted after three incidents where Dabritz allegedly trespassed at William Bee Ririe Hospital in Ely on March 21.
He was placed on a mandatory mental health hold at that facility a week earlier, KVVU reported.
A source told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that Dabritz had gone to the hospital for a medical condition but been admitted on a psychiatric hold after he told hospital employees that he had acquired $30,000 in “illegal untraceable weapons” and “wanted to save us from the suffering of coronavirus.”
Dabritz has also been accused of delivering a suspicious package to the Ely Justice Court on March 24.
He has been charged with open murder, third-degree arson, grand larceny of a motor vehicle, and grand larceny of a firearm in connection with the murder of Sgt. Jenkins, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
White Pine County District Attorney Michael Wheable told the judge that prosecutors might ask for capital punishment.
Dabritz did not enter a plea and is due back in court on April 16, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
He is being held at the White Pine County jail without bail.
Dabritz’s ex-wife Haydee Dabritz is an epidemiologist in California, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
She said that her ex-husband was a research scientist before he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.