EXCLUSIVE: Fallen officer's father opens up about the arrest in his 2006 murder

Posted at 11:17 PM, Oct 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-29 02:17:33-04

On Thursday, Oceanside Police arrested 26-year-old Jose Compre in connection with the murder of a 2006 police officer.

Officer Dan Bessant was helping another officer with a traffic stop when gang members shot him from down the street.

His dad, Steve Bessant, showed up to personally thank the officers who saw it through.

"They've never given up, and they have worked relentlessly, " Steve said. "This day has finally come that Jose Compre will face the bar of justice."

Ten years have passed, but he fought back tears when talking about the son he had to bury.

"I miss Danny every day," Steve said. "There are some days I miss him more than others."

Among those days are what should be their Fall fishing trip in the Sierras.

"This will be the tenth year without Danny," he said.

Police initially arrested three teenagers.

"They stole my son," he explained. "And there's a big empty hole in our family now. There's still a sense of loss."

A judge let Jose Compre go, but police never did

For that, Steve said he is deeply grateful.

Officer Bessant left behind a baby boy, who just turned ten.

"The first thing he said was, 'Grandpa, when are we going to go fishing?'" he said with a smile.

Steve can tell his grandson about his dad, who left too soon, but went out a hero.

"He's still gone," he said. "Maybe closure will happen in eternity when we're in Heaven together."