A 70-year-old Vietnam veteran fatally shot in his East Side home two weeks ago was the victim of an apparent robbery, Buffalo police said Thursday.
Robert C. Bennett Sr. was found dead in his house on C Street in the Fillmore-Sycamore neighborhood March 29, after a next-door relative had looked in a window and noticed he was on a couch, then, hours later, looked in again, and realized Bennett had not moved, according to police and family members.
“The killing is under investigation, and any information from the public would be greatly appreciated,” Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda said, explaining that circumstances of what transpired before the shooting cannot be released at this time.
Homicide detectives believe Bennett was killed during a robbery.
Robert C. Bennett Jr. told The Buffalo News that a cousin felt something was wrong because his father had not moved from the same position on a living room couch for an extended period of time.
“My cousin who lives next door had seen my father through a window sitting and then she later looked in the window and my father was still in the same position. She called another cousin who owns the house and he called the police,” . Bennett said.
The son also appealed for anyone with information on the shooting to contact police.
Bennett noted that his father served multiple tours of duty in Vietnam during the 1960s and early 1970s, only to be shot and killed inside his residence.
“My dad lived alone and had retired from the Army in 1982,” Bennett said. “I found out about his death when my cousin who owns the house called and said, ‘I have bad news for you. Your father has been murdered.’ ”
Anyone with information is asked to call or text the Buffalo Police Department’s Confidential TIPCALL Line at (716) 847-2255.
A funeral service was held Saturday.
In addition to his oldest son, who lives in Niagara Falls, Bennett is survived by a second son, who also shares the same name, Robert C. Bennett Jr., who lives in Pennsylvania, and a third son, Kenneth Johnson; and four daughters, Adrean Mitchell, Carmaleita Thompson, Brianna Bennett and Geri Heath.