Officer Tim Brenton’s West Seattle HS days: An eerie “destiny”

(Flag at half-staff today outside West Seattle High School’s historic entrance
After learning last night that murdered Seattle Police Officer Tim Brenton was a former West Seattle resident who graduated from WSHS in 1988, we asked principal Bruce Bivins this morning for permission to review yearbooks so that we could share a little more information about his time here. We are honoring the Seattle PD request not to publish photos until the family and department have approved one for release, so we did not photograph his yearbook picture (the yearbook itself is at right). In the yearbooks, the main activity in which Tim Brenton is listed as participating was the school newspaper The Chinook, which listed him as a reporter. But in the information seniors were asked to share about themselves, his interest in police work was clear: He also listed as an activity Police Explorer Post #943, listed his dad (a now-retired SPD officer) as one of his idols, and listed his own “destiny” as: “To survive 10 years on the LAPD.”

The Seattle Times (WSB partner) has more information on Officer Brenton’s background in this story; our report on Acting Police Chief John Diaz‘s City Council briefing this morning is here, and our coverage of the SPD media briefing yesterday afternoon (with video including Chief Diaz and Mayor Nickels) is here. If you have any information about the attack on Officer Brenton and Officer Britt Sweeney, who survived, tiplines are 206-684-5550 and 800-222-TIPS.

10 Replies to "Officer Tim Brenton's West Seattle HS days: An eerie "destiny""

  • bongo November 2, 2009 (12:54 pm)

    That is very sad. It is heartbreaking to think of his family’s loss. What a tragedy to lose a good officer / man/ father, husband…in such a senseless, hate filled manner. I really hope Seattle can get a handle on the reasons behind the violence and anger expressed toward our city’s police force, it seems the community that is more often in the news with police issues, complaints against law enforcement, crime, violence, etc, is also the community that needs the most policing to keep the majority of the law abiding and just plain good citizens that live in that community safe from the minority, but very active and dangerous thugs and gang/drug/delinquent criminals. I’m sure his family will get an outpouring of support and empathy/sympathy from most of the public and hopefully will see some sort of justice prevail for the murderer(s). No amount of “justice” will ever repair the damage. I’m sure the quilty parties are well beyone redemption and will be a sad ongoing drain on society while serving their prison time. Too bad there are so many lost people who turn to drugs and crime to give some kind of meaning to their probably painful and ugly lives. Is there a solution? It all starts with Mom and Dad at home — obviously there are a lot of people having kids who cannot raise them to embrace a peaceful law abiding lifestyle. It seems to be just one ignorant damaged generation producing another equally or more depraved ravaged generation. How do we stop the cycle and how do we all take some part in making this change? I may sound pollyanna, but seems there is enough good energy in this city to come up with a solution or two and get busy if we just don’t stand for it anymore. This type of violence serves nobody but certainly indicates a deep disturbing problem that we all should feel some urgency to address.

  • bongo November 2, 2009 (1:00 pm)

    I guess I should clarify, when I say “minority” I am not referring to any ethnicity. Also, when I say it “all starts at home with Mom and Dad” I should have just said “with caring and involved adults/parents/guardians” it certainly helps to have a Mom and a Dad involved, or at least a Mom or a Dad, or a Mom and a Mom, or a Dad and a Dad, or whoever is the caring parental figures – the problem seems to be there are too many “parents” who give up their responsibilibies as parents to someone else — where is Mom? Where is Dad? What are they doing (or not doing) that is not working out for many of these kids who allign with drug/gang/violent groups?

  • wsmom November 2, 2009 (2:58 pm)

    bongo, thank you for your thoughts. I too have spent today reflecting on the tragedy of the assassination of Ofc. Brenton. Seeing the picture of him in the Seattle Times this morning and imagining the heartbreak of his family makes me so sad. And wondering how a person could take such a mans life, to be so filled with hate. I feel like I did the week after Sept. 11th, grief filled that there are people in this world ready to tear up the fabric of our society, while at the same time proud that this same society produces men and women like Ofc. Brenton, willing to stand for what is right and good and hopeful. I do hope and pray that we find the cowards who did this and bring them to justice quickly.

  • BPD452 November 3, 2009 (4:35 pm)

    My family’s prayers go to Ofc. Brenton’s and Ofc. Sweeney’s families, in hopes of repairing their view of people in the wake of the evil they did on 10/31/2009. We are a police family as well, and I speak from my own place about this tragedy. It is time for society to realize that we (me and you) cannot depend on the Justice system to raise our kids. No youth center, boy or girls club, no church or school counselor can shoulder the responsibility of the parents and families of children. If they are not raised with some basic traits like compassion, consideration, humility, and respect (among other things), they will fall to the streets, and then to lives filled with disgusting acts like this one. Thanks to men and women like Ofc. Brenton and Ofc. Sweeney, who place them selves (knowingly) in harm’s way daily, we try to bridge this gap until it closes. Not everyone can be a police officer. We are a small percentage of society, with a fraternal bond to each other whether we know each other or not. This is why I feel so strongly compelled to write something in reference to this horrific issue. This is how we heal and deal with this type of “scar”. This is the bond which will not leave the families of the fallen behind.

  • J. M. Havner November 3, 2009 (11:08 pm)


    Come join WSHS Class of 1988 members and share your love for Tim and share stories of the friend we miss dearly.
    Pegasus Pizza on Alki has graciously offered to let us hang out, eat pizza, tell stories of Tim and friends and collect money to donate to Tim’s family in this time of great need.

    Donations will be deposited into the account set up by the Seattle Police Department in Tim’s family name.

    Hope to see you there!!!
    3 to 9 pm
    Pegasus Pizza on Alki
    2770 Alki Ave SW

  • Kym Scharff November 5, 2009 (8:23 am)

    I used to work with Tim in Spokane while he was going to school. His dream back than was to be a officer like his father. I am praying for his family at this difficult time.

  • Adam November 6, 2009 (3:09 pm)

    Am I seriously the only one who thinks a procession honoring an officer with such extravagance is a slap in the face to the tens of thousands of other people who die every day and no one so much as blinks an eye on their behalf? He died, yes. Tragic? Relatively, I guess. But lets be honest, if any normal (non-police) citizen died defending a family of 5 from a charging bull, that person would not get such recognition. Additionally, he didn’t die defending anyone – it was a freak accident. How is this justified? Of course I feel bad, and I feel bad for his family and friends, but somehow it doesn’t sit well knowing I could take a bullet for, say, the president and get not more than a pat on the back and a thank-you note.

  • Adam November 6, 2009 (3:25 pm)

    And comparing this event to 9/11 is so profoundly ignorant I can’t event begin… we are comparing hundreds to a single man… and a plane crash to a drive-by… geeze.

  • Jim November 6, 2009 (5:05 pm)

    He died in the line of duty, while serving the public. He didn’t die in his sleep. A car didn’t fall on him from the top of a parking building. That would be a “Freak accident”. He was on duty when a criminal intentionally sought him out, and murdered him. Most people have empathy for officers who are injured or killed in the service of the public.

    I would also wager that if you took a bullet for the president, you would get more than a “pat on the back”.

  • wshs_alum November 7, 2009 (3:59 am)

    People do die everyday. Few are murdered, targeted for assination, because of their jobs. Would I have liked all of my loved ones who died to have such a public display? of course.. was it warrented? no. This was no freak accident. This is a way for us all to acknowledge that people put their lives on the line every day so we can live in a relatively free and peaceful envirnoment.

Sorry, comment time is over.