Slain officer was teacher, 'quiet family man'
Seattle Police Officer Timothy Brenton impressed his superiors so much they asked him to train other officers in the field. He was doing that Saturday night when he was killed, apparently randomly in a drive-by shooting.
Seattle Times staff reporters
In less than 10 years on the Seattle Police Department, Officer Timothy Brenton impressed his superiors so much they asked him to train other officers in the field.
He was doing that Saturday night, teaching rookie officer Britt Sweeney, when he was killed, apparently randomly in a drive-by shooting while sitting in a patrol car on a tree-lined street. Sweeney, only on duty for about a month, suffered minor injuries.
"Everybody loved him," said his uncle, Jon Brenton, 50, of Kingston, who recalled his nephew's quick smile and great sense of humor.
Timothy Brenton, 39, came from a family of police officers, the uncle said. The slain officer's father and another uncle are retired Seattle police officers, Jon Brenton said.
Brenton lived in a house in a leafy, middle-class neighborhood in Marysville, on a cul-de-sac with his wife and two young children.
"Just a regular American family; going to work, making a living," said neighbor Mark Flanders, 49, as he stood in his yard.
Brenton's two children, an 8-year-old boy and a girl, 11, are in elementary school, Flanders said.
Flanders described Brenton as a "quiet family man" and said the officer's wife, Lisa, worked as a nurse.
Jon Brenton said he learned of the shooting in a 2:30 a.m. phone call Sunday from the officer's father, Boyd Brenton, of La Conner.
"He was pretty broken," Brenton said. "It was kind of unbelievable to him. It was just kind of a dream."
Jon Brenton said his nephew was born in Poulsbo before the family moved to West Seattle.
"It's a huge loss to everybody," he said.
Police work also runs in Sweeney's family on her husband's side, Kathleen Sweeney, the wounded officer's mother-in-law, said in a telephone interview from Hanover Township, Pa.
She said her son, Michael, called her early Sunday morning with news about the shooting.
Sweeney said her daughter-in-law always wanted to pursue a police career. Before joining the Seattle Police Department, Britt Sweeney consulted with her father-in-law, a retired police officer, Sweeney said.
Previously, Britt Sweeney, 33, worked as a personal trainer and led fitness classes at local gyms, the mother-in-law said.
Kathleen Sweeney said that when the city of Seattle ramped up its push for police officers over the past several years, her daughter-in-law began focusing on it as a career again.
Britt and Michael Sweeney met about eight years ago when they were living in Connecticut and moved to Seattle about five years ago when Michael landed an engineering job, Sweeney said.
Britt Sweeney grew up in New Hampshire and attended Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., Sweeney said.
"We're proud of her," Sweeney said. "Britt is a very levelheaded girl. She had good training."
Steve Miletich: 206-464-3302 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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Seattle Times news researcher Gene Balk contributed to this report.
When vice president of Sub Pop Records Megan Jasper isn't running things at the office, she's working in her garden at her West Seattle home where she and her husband Brian spend time relaxing.