Video: Seattle Police briefing on murder of Officer Tim Brenton

(photo we sent to Twitter during the briefing, added here 3:46 pm)
ORIGINAL 3:01 PM REPORT: We’re here with the citywide media as the briefing is about to start at police HQ downtown. NWCN is going to televise live, we hear. Our wireless signal is a little spotty here — briefing room is on the lower level – but we will add important info as we can (via Twitter if this signal drops out). BRIEFING: Field Training Officer Tim Brenton (sp?) and Officer Brit Sweeney (sp?) are those involved. No one in custody. Mayor and acting chief Diaz say no one will rest until the killer/s are caught. (added 4:45 pm – video of acting SPD Chief John Diaz’s entire statement)

(added 4:52 pm — video of Mayor Nickels’ entire 2-minute statement, which opened the briefing)

Assistant chief: “This is an assassination.” Officer who survived is described as having taken the actions of a 10-year veteran. If any info, call 206-233-5000 with tips. CrimeStoppers: 206-343-2020. Tips can be anonymous. Vehicle description is no clearer – still remains either a white-ish light blue potentially silver smallish subcompact or compact, per assistant chief. Don’t know if it’s four door or two door. Detectives are “literally scrubbing the city.” Not sure if it was hit by gunfire or not. Using onboard video of every police car that may have been in the area to see if they can find anything. No description of possible suspect/s that can be shared at this time.

3:37 PM: No date for the memorial yet. A fund will be set up shortly for the officer’s family. CrimeStoppers will offer a $20,000 reward. The slain officer has been with the department about 8 years, transferred from LaConner Police; he is the son of a retired Seattle Police officer and also has family ties to the Seattle Fire Department, as well as two children, ages 8 and 11. No photo of him has been released yet. They are not describing Officer Sweeney’s hometown; several police officers are with her, and Assistant Chief Nick Metz says that while she is devastated, she is being a “true professional” and assisting them as best she can with the investigation. (added 5:39 pm – here is our video of the entirety of his statement)

3:41 PM: The briefing is over. We have video of the mayor and acting chief’s statements and will publish those here when we are back at HQ, for those who would like to see them. Bottom line: The killer or killers are still at large, and the police department will work tirelessly – as Assistant Chief Metz said, it’s a business where you don’t get to close down and take a break after a tragedy – to catch them, but your help is important too, if you see or hear anything you feel may help – the killer/s could be anywhere.

4:53 PM: Officer Brenton’s body has been moved to Bonney Watson Funeral Home, with a ceremonial procession as escort, according to Seattle Police via Twitter. We are almost finished uploading our three video clips from this afternoon’s news conference – the entirety of what Acting SPD Chief Diaz, Mayor Nickels, and Assistant Chief Nick Metz had to say; Assistant Chief Jim Pugel also participated in the briefing.

ADDED 5:58 PM: SPD has issued a news release recapping the main points of the briefing – we have cut and pasted it to include here for those who’d like to read it – it does clarify that there is a $21,000 reward, $1K from CrimeStoppers, $20K from the Seattle Police Guild – read on:

It is with profound sadness that we must inform you that a Seattle Police Officer was killed in the line of duty last night.

Officer Timothy Brenton, a Field Training Officer assigned to Third Watch, East Precinct, was shot to death while he and Student Officer Britt Sweeney, were parked in their patrol car in the 100 Block of 29th Avenue last night shortly after 10:00 p.m. The investigation thus far has shown that Officers Brenton and Sweeney had just completed a traffic stop and were discussing the stop as part of Officer Sweeney¹s training. Their patrol car was parked facing southbound in the 100 Block of 29th Avenue on the west side of the street. Officer Sweeney was in the drivers seat; Officer Brenton was in the front passenger seat. As they were discussing training, a vehicle, described as a light-colored small car, also travelling southbound, pulled up next to the patrol vehicle. The suspect(s) opened fire upon the officers. The bullets went by Officer Sweeney’s head, grazing her in the back of the neck and tearing her uniform shirt and vest. Bullets struck Officer Brenton in the head, killing him. The suspect vehicle then fled northbound on 29th Avenue. Officer Sweeney was able to exit the patrol car and return fire at the suspect vehicle. The suspect vehicle may have been struck. Officer Sweeney was able to get on the air and summon additional officers to the scene. Officer Sweeney’s performance was exemplary under the most stressful and horrific call imaginable.

There was a massive response from all points of the city and beyond. Patrol, detectives, and the Hospital Response Team all responded and provided support for officers and the families. Information is being developed as to possible suspect(s). SPD Homicide detectives are responsible for this investigation.

There is no other way to describe what occurred last night to Officers Brenton and Sweeney other than this was a deliberate act of murder. We have all the resources of the Department working on this investigation, and will not stop until we have those responsible answer for this heinous crime. We owe it to Officers Brenton and Sweeney, their families, ourselves and the community.

Officer Brenton was 39 years old and a 9-year veteran of the Department at the time of his death. He leaves behind a wife and two children. Officer Sweeney is 33 years old and a recent graduate of the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Center.

Funeral arrangements are being planned and more information will be forthcoming.

This is a profound tragedy and shock to our senses. We will take the time to grieve, reflect, and honor our fallen brother. The Department¹s Crisis Incident Stress Management Team will be available for all those who request it.

The Department has set up a tip line for the public to provide information that may assist the investigation. That number is (206) 233-5000.

A bank account for Officer Timothy Brenton¹s family is being set up at this time. We will provide more information when the details become available.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to call either 911 or the Seattle Police Homicide Unit at 206 684-5550, or the tipline at (206) 233-5000. Those wishing to remain anonymous are encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800 222-TIPS (8477) or send a text to CRIMES (274637). Your text message should include TIP486 to ensure proper routing. If a tip leads to an arrest and the filing of charges, callers may qualify for a cash reward of up to $1,000. An additional $20,000 reward is being offered by the Seattle Police Officer¹s Guild, for a total of $21,000. Calls are taken 24 hours a day.

10 Replies to "Video: Seattle Police briefing on murder of Officer Tim Brenton"

  • twirl-a-whirl November 1, 2009 (4:12 pm)

    Thanks for being there to give us updates on this important matter.

  • Diane November 1, 2009 (4:39 pm)

    yes, it’s been live on NWCN; now they’ve cut away to desk review and more review out in the field
    sure wish they’d stay with live at briefing; glad we can count on you to cover

  • miws November 1, 2009 (5:00 pm)

    Yes, thanks for the update.


    Hopefully the vids will produce something, or perhaps, Officer Sweeney will be able to recall something pertinent, with a little more time.


    It’s so frustrating that they had so much working against them. The sheer surprise of the attack, and it happening in the dark, making it harder to get a clearer make on the vehicle involved, and/or the perp(s).


    My thoughts continue to be with all involved, for a speedy, and sure resolution to this.



  • brandon November 1, 2009 (4:40 pm)


    Just cowards.

  • cathyw November 1, 2009 (6:16 pm)

    They will never get away with it.

  • charlabob November 1, 2009 (7:07 pm)

    This is just a sickening assasination and our hearts go out to the policeman’s family and to the entire law enforcement family. No one can ever feel safe when things like this happen in the world.

  • thank you November 1, 2009 (7:26 pm)

    Excellent reporting WSB. Thank you so much for spending so much time on this story and providing videos. I am constantly blown away by the level of service you provide our community. May peace and healing be with the friends, families and comrades of both officers.

  • RickSteel November 1, 2009 (7:29 pm)

    My girlfriend and I happened to be walking down Broadway when the motorcade took the body from Harborview to the funeral home. An incredibly moving sight to behold as the procession of police cars with lights flashing drove solemnly down Broadway. The intersections were all blocked off and the officers doing the blocking saluted. Everyone walking along stopped to pay their respects as well, most with tears in their eyes.
    Later, we walked past the funeral home and three officers stood outside, holding a silent vigil/guarding the site.
    Godspeed Officer Brenton, godspeed.

  • miws November 1, 2009 (9:19 pm)

    I haven’t watched the above vids, (on dial-up, so vids take awhile to load), so don’t know if this was mentioned in them, but Q13 News @ 9:00, on MYQ 22, reported that Officer Brenton attened West Seattle High.


    RickSteel, I was still working in White Center a few years ago, when the funeral procession for murdered King County Deputy Steve Cox drove down 16th Av. I was fortunate enough, and felt it a great honor, to be able to step outside with a few of my co-workers, and view the procession, and salute Deputy Cox, as the hearse passed by.



  • WSB November 1, 2009 (9:32 pm)

    NO! that would be new info – I sat next to my ex-13-co-workers at the briefing this afternoon and that certainly wasn’t known then. Will look into it … TR

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