Ptl. James K. Armstrong – 28 years old
Bensalem Twp. Police Dept., Bensalem, Pa.
Died in the line of duty on 04/15/1975
Ptl. Armstrong died on April 15, 1975 after he overheard an armed robbery description from Bristol Township and stopped a subject in the Colorcraft Company parking lot off Route 13 in an industrial park near Woodhaven Road Bensalem Township. A struggle ensued and Joseph Hennesee pulled Officer Armstrong’s weapon out and shot him in the head when he returned to his car to radio for help. Hennesee also shot K-9-Shep who was in the backseat of the patrol car with the window only partway down. Shep could not get out but did survive and after some time returned for duty.
Officer James ARMSTRONG
The below is information was obtained about Officer Armstrong through families and fellow officers.
He was known as Jimmy by his family and friends, grew up in Philadelphia and was a graduate of Father Judge High School. He then went on to become a marine and served two tours of duty in Vietnam. He volunteered for his second tour because he liked the action and he believed in the cause. Jimmy then went on to marry his wife, Sandy, and together they had a daughter, Patti, who only knew her father as an infant. Jimmy’s younger brother, Jack, described his brother as outgoing, dependable, and someone you could always count on. Jack said he always looked up to Jimmy as his older brother, and that people naturally gravitated toward Jimmy because of his personality.
Jimmy served as a patrolman and K-9 handler with his partner, Shep. Jimmy was described as a “COPS COP.” Fellow officers Tony Rihl and Don Kueny said this of Jimmy, “he never dodged a call and was someone who always had your back – no matter what!”