Police: Seattle police officer killed in 'assassination'

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by KING5.com and Associated Press

KING5.com

Posted on November 1, 2009 at 2:18 AM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 9 at 8:16 AM

Seattle police officer killed

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SEATTLE - A veteran Seattle police officer was fatally shot Saturday night as he and a rookie officer sat in their patrol car in the Central District.

The officer who was killed was identified as Tim Brenton, 39, a nine-year veteran of the Seattle Police Dept.

"Our community is in shock at this brutal and senseless crime," Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels said at a news conference.

Nickels said this was the first intentional homicide of a Seattle police officer since 1994.

"The killing of someone who protects us, who protects our public safety, who protects our communities, is universally condemned, and our city is united in rejecting this violence and supporting the men and women in uniform," said Nickels. "Let me be clear. We will not rest until the assailant is brought to justice."

The shooting occurred shortly after 10 p.m. at 29th Avenue S. and E. Yesler Way.

Assistant Police Chief Jim Pugel said the two officers were sitting in a patrol car parked at the intersection, discussing a routine traffic stop. The rookie officer, Britt Sweeney, 33, was sitting in the driver's seat; her trainer, Brenton, was in the passenger seat.

Pugel said a car pulled up alongside the patrol car and someone inside opened fire.

Sweeney ducked, and a bullet grazed her back. She called for help and returned fire, Pugel said.

Sweeney, who was grazed by a bullet, managed to return fire as the car backed away and fled the scene.

"From everything that we understand, the car literally pulled up alongside the parked patrol car and began shooting," said Pugel. "So it was without warning and it was a deliberate homicide."

Police say they do not have a good description of the suspect or the make of the car, other than to say it may be small, light-colored, possibly gray or silver.

Pugel said at the press conference that local state and federal agencies are working on the investigation.

"This is an assassination and every resource is being used to bring it to a conclusion," he said.

Officer Brenton was married with two children, a boy and a girl just 11 and 8 years old.

Anonymous tips can be called in to Seattle Police tipline 206-233-5000 or Crimestoppers 206-343-2020.

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