The commando who was killed in the first Special Operations raid of the Trump administration was the son of a detective who worked at the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, a department spokesman said.
Detective Keven Dupree, the police spokesman, did not identify the parent of Special Forces Operator William “Ryan” Owens, or say when that parent worked there. But, in a posting on Facebook Friday Dupree wrote:
“As the son of a retired FLPD detective, SCPO Owens is one of our own. We honor his life of service and are forever indebted for his dedication and unselfish sacrifice. The entire FLPD family extends our deepest condolences to the family of SCPO Owens. #HonortheFallen.”
An obituary published in 2013 marked the death of Patricia Ann Treutle, identifying her as a Fort Lauderdale police detective for 13 years. It lists William Owens as her son.
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Owens’ father is Bill Owens, a police officer who retired many years ago, said Bob Pusins, executive director at the Broward Sheriff’s Office, who retired from Fort Lauderdale police about 13 years ago.
When Owens retired from the police department, he went into real estate, Pusins said.
Pusins said in the 1980s he lived in the same Fort Lauderdale neighborhood, Palm Aire Village, as the Owens family. Pusins’ son Ryan played with Ryan Owens.
“Bill is a devoted father and had great kids — you could see the smile that Ryan has is reflective of what a fine young man he turned out to be, you can’t help but appreciate his smile that you have seen in that picture that has been posted,” Pusins said.
A Pentagon announcement of Owens’ death listed the SEAL’s hometown as Peoria, Ill. Local newspapers in Illinois said Owens, a husband and father of three, went to high school there. He was killed during a weekend raid inside Yemen that gathered material from a suspected al-Qaida of the Arabian Peninsula site, the first counterterrorism operation of the Trump presidency.
President Donald Trump and his daughter, Ivanka, made a surprise trip to the Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Wednesday to meet the remains of Owens, the first known U.S. combat casualty since Trump took office less than two weeks ago.
It is possible that the president may have spoken to the retired Fort Lauderdale police officer. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said in a statement Tuesday: “The president offered his sincerest condolences to Officer Owens’s wife, his father, and their three children.”
At the Pentagon, a Navy spokesman said it had no additional information beyond the fact that Owens listed Peoria as his hometown. Funeral arrangements were not available.
Miami Herald staff writers Carol Rosenberg, Julie K. Brown and Amy Sherman contributed to this report.
A previous version of this article misidentifed which parent of Owens was a police detective. It is his mother.