Jennifer Sebena, 30, had just finished her probationary period as a patrol officer with the Wauwatosa Police Department as she sat on break in front of the local fire house on Christmas eve. This is a typical place where patrol officers take their break during their shift.
As she sat in her car in the early morning hours, a man approached her, shot her in the head, apparently took her service weapon, and then shot her three to four additional times in the head and face. When dispatch was unable to contact Sebena for several hours, it sent another officer to check on her--that officer found her dead, executed in her patrol car in the street on Christmas eve.
A few days later, her husband was arrested for her murder. According to news reports, Benjamin Sebena, her husband, admitted to murdering his wife. He allegedly told law enforcement that he had been stalking her for several days, and was jealous about Jennifer's interactions with other men. And so, he apparently walked up to her parked patrol car in the middle of the night and murdered his wife.
The news may not have come as a shock to Jennifer Sebena's colleagues. She had allegedly told at least one co-worker that her husband, an Iraq war veteran, had become increasingly violent and even put a gun to her head in recent weeks.
Beyond the gun control conversation, this incident opens up other issues that have been ignored in recent years by our political leaders: domestic violence generally, and violence against women specifically.
In recent days, a man killed a woman in Las Vegas then killed himself; another murdered his girlfriend and her daughter; a woman was shot to death, likely by her boyfriend; and a man killed his pregnant wife. All of these murders, of course, were committed with firearms.
The list could go on . . . But the murder of a female police officer who was by all accounts an outstanding young officer, will hopefully spark a new conversation about domestic violence in this country.