On August 30, San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office (SLOSSO) Deputies responded to the scene of a single vehicle collision in the area of Arroyo Grande Avenue and Painted Cave Loop Road. When they arrived they found a vehicle that had struck a tree. It was determined that a male subject had been transported to the scene from an earlier unrelated incident. When the team got to the scene, the subject was unable to provide any medical history and was unresponsive. As a precaution, the team began CPR. Sadly, the subject succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. The following day, SLOSSO Deputy Sheriffs and other local officials took to the streets to honor their slain comrade. ~~

One Santa Margarita woman’s life has been forever changed – and tragically so. Her husband, Officer Joshua McInerny, was killed in the line of duty during a traffic stop early Sunday morning.

In recent weeks, San Luis Obispo County and surrounding areas have collectively mourned the loss of Detective Luca Benedetti of the San Luis Obispo Police Department, who was a community member, husband, father and friend.

Thursday the 20th. May, was honored after a service of honor and a procession of relief workers to the Paso Robles Cemetery, Det. Benedetti is buried. The full version will be published later.

The Friday before, the 14th. In May, a candle-lit vigil was held in honor of the detective. Benedetti at Mission Plaza San Luis Obispo.

A 12-year law enforcement veteran was killed in a shooting that occurred while officers were executing a search warrant at an apartment in Camellia Court.

Before the vigil, caravans of groups organized by Protect Paso, Protect Atascadero and Protect SLO drove from Paso Robles to Osos, through Templeton and Atascadero, to Higuera Street.

The caravans travel from Paso Robles to the mission of San Luis Obispo via Atascadero. Pictures of Rick Evans

The vehicles were adorned with flags and decorations in support of law enforcement.

Fans also lined the streets with blue flags and cheered while cars honked. Fans then marched to Mission Plaza to pay tribute to the victims at the vigil.

Hundreds of people gathered to show their support and respect for the late detective. Luca Benedetti. Photo: Camille DeValle

Former Atascadero Police Department (APD) Chaplain Rick Comstock read a story from Paul Harvey Policeman.

Comstock had a chance to follow the detective. Benedetti when he was on the force.

Detective’s candlelight vigil. Luca Benedetti at the San Luis Obispo Mission.

A policeman. The policeman is the totality of what all men are, a mixture of saint and sinner, substance and divinity.

What’s a policeman made of? Of all peoples, it is both the most necessary and the most undesirable. It is a strange nameless creature with mermaid on its face and down on its back.

A police officer should be a minister, a social worker, a diplomat, a tough guy and a gentleman. And, of course, it has to be brilliant. After all, he has to support his family on a policeman’s salary.

Attorney Dan Dow spoke and told the story of resident Noah Briley.

The cop who saved my life by arresting me is the cop who died. It’s very sad for me. He treated me with such respect and humanity. I was too sick to be locked up, so we stayed in the hospital together for over 18 hours. We talked mostly about our kids and the IPA. I ran into him at a Mexican restaurant about five months ago, and he clearly didn’t recognize me. I could thank him for saving my life. I told him I had 18 months of purity and happiness in my life. He told me he was proud of me. I feel for his family. Rest in peace,agent benedetti.

Dow also revealed that while on duty with the APD, Detective Benedetti helped the mother give birth in the parking lot after her family contacted the APD because they could not get to the hospital in time.

Recently appointed San Luis Obispo police chief Rick Scott said at the time: I didn’t have the chance to get to know him better, but now I do. I learn who he was through the stories of the incredible men and women who served alongside him.

Detective Steve Orozco was injured in the shooting and has returned home to continue his recovery with his family. He will make a full recovery from his injuries.

Detective Steve Orozco

A GoFundMe page is set up for Det. Orozco has recovered and has until the 23rd. The month of May brought in over $45,690.

To donate to the Detective Orozco Relief Fund, go to gofundme.com and search for Detective Orozco Relief Fund.

The police car the detective was in. Benedetti’s vehicle was parked on the SLO Police Department lawn in front of the Santa Rosa Street station. The patrol car and lawn were decorated with balloons and flowers – residents paid tribute to the fallen officer.

The San Luis Obispo Police Department Officers Association and the San Luis Obispo Regional SWAT Team have created a GoFundMe page for the sole purpose of providing financial assistance to an investigator. The Benedetti family.

More than 3,800 people donated to the fund and more than $607,875 was raised.

Children. Benedetti’s police car was parked on the lawn in front of the San Luis Obispo Police Department so residents could pay their respects to the fallen officer. Photos by Camille DeVol

Here’s some of what they shared:

Luke leaves behind his beautiful wife and two precious little girls. As a community, we cannot repair this loss, but we can send love, prayers and financial support to the bereaved families so they can pick up the pieces of this broken family.

Luca, 37, was born in San Francisco to Italian immigrants and grew up in the Bay Area. Luca moved to the Central Coast to study engineering at Cal Poly, but found his true professional passion in law enforcement. After graduating from the Allan Hancock Police Academy, Luca began his career with the Atascadero Police Department in 2008 and has been an officer with the San Luis Obispo Police Department since 2012. Luca was a proud member of the San Luis Obispo Regional SWAT Team, and his brothers and sisters in blue could not be more proud of his accomplishments as an officer, SWAT operator, and most importantly, the man he was to his family and friends.

Luca enjoyed cooking, organic gardening and proudly wore his Italian heritage around his neck. Luke lived for his family, and now that he has passed away, we as a community, near and far, will do all we can to help his family in any way we can.

All generous donations go directly to Luke’s family who are going through a very difficult time.

To donate to the Detective Benedetti Relief Fund, go to gofundme.com and search for Luca Benedetti Family Relief Fund.

You can watch the public ceremony, held at the Cal Poly Performing Arts Center, and the procession of the first person to Paso Robles Cemetery here.

The photos below give a vivid picture of the events of that day. A full service report will follow.

Photos by Camille DeVaul, Nicholas Mattson and Hayley Mattson


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We’ll get through this together, Atascadero.

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