Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Police Officer Killed on Duty, Husband Arrested

Officer Jennifer Sebena, 30. Police department ID photo.

In suburban Milwaukee, the warmth of Christmas Eve was suddenly pierced by news that a member of the police force had been killed on duty. Jennifer Sebena, 30, of the Wauwatosa Police Department, was shot several times early on the morning of the 24th. After dispatchers were unable to contact Sebena, officers were sent to look for her. Her body was found near the Wauwatosa Fire Station.

Christmas passed by, marred by unanswered questions regarding Sebena’s untimely death. ”Our hearts are really heavy,” said Wauwatosa police Lieutenant Gerald Witkowski, adding that Sebena was a “great person” and a “great officer.” Immediately after Sebena’s murder, police had no suspects and Witkowski urged witnesses to come forward.

But even in the death of a police officer, police often don’t have to look far from the home for a suspect. Late Wednesday night, Wauwatosa police took Sebena’s husband, Marine vet Ben Sebena, 30, into custody. He has not been formally charged, but is being held at Milwaukee county jail on a tentative charge of first-degree intentional homicide, according to a statement issued by Wauwatosa police.

Ben Sebena served two tours in Iraq before sustaining severe injuries to his arms and legs. He was awarded the Purple Heart. Upon his return home, he was featured in a promotional video for “No Regrets Men’s Ministries,” an annual religious conference aimed at men which takes places throughout the Midwest. In the clip, Ben spoke about proposing to his wife: ”We became infatuated with each other and then one day I asked her if she would be happy spending the rest of her life with me, and she said ‘Yes.” Following news of his arrest, No Regrets has made the video featuring Ben private.

Jennifer Sebena served with the police department for only two years before leaving the unfortunate legacy of becoming the first person killed in the line of duty in the department’s 96-year history.

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