The headstone of a Sacramento police officer killed in the line of duty has been repaired after badges were pried from the Colfax Cemetery memorial two years ago.
Bill Bean Jr. died in Feb. 9, 1999, at age 28. When he was laid to rest his headstone included his Placer County sheriff’s badge and his Sacramento Police Department badge. The officer worked for both agencies during his short career.
When those badges were pried off the headstone by a vandal in 2015, according to the Placer County Sheriff’s Office, the Placer 10-35 Foundation and the Sacramento Police Officer’s Association paid to repair the damage. Two porcelain photos of the badges were added in place of Bean’s actual badges.
The vandals have not been caught.
Bean was the 14th Sacramento police officer killed in the line of duty and the first to be fatally shot in 25 years when he was killed in Del Paso Heights.
Police arrested Dundell Wright, 35, a parolee facing a return trip to prison because of a parole violation. Wright was convicted of second-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison with no parole on Dec. 18, 2003.
In 1999, police said Bean and his partner, David Hogge, spotted a car with a cracked windshield, whose driver was displaying “odd behavior.” They pulled the car over at Rio Linda Boulevard and Grand Avenue and the driver gave them his name before suddenly driving away.
The officers gave chase, and the suspect’s car died a short distance away near Knightlinger Street and South Avenue.
Bean was approaching the car from its passenger side when Wright fired through the side window, striking Bean under his arm, an area not protected by his body armor, police said.
The suspect then ran into a field and Hogge followed, firing several shots, none of which wounded the suspect, police said.
More than five hours after the shooting, Wright was found hiding in a backyard and was arrested. Near him, police found a 9 mm pistol.