MARYSVILLE, Wash. - Officer Tim Brenton was a husband and father of two children, a boy and a girl. They're just 11 and 8 years old.

A Sheriff's Department deputy was posted outside the family's home all day long, providing a buffer of security as friends and family came to share their grief.

Neighbors who know the family say they are absolutely crushed.

News of the killing literally left neighbor Shirley Lemke breathless.

Oh, no, she gasped on her front porch. I feel so sorry for the family. Oh, my Lord, this is terrible.

Brenton spent nearly 9 years on the Seattle Police force, training rookie officers and coaching them about how to make sure they got home to their families safely every night.

Brenton s father, a retired police officer from La Conner, got the call every police family dreads early Sunday morning.

Deputy Police Chief Nick Metz met with the family.

Telling a family that their life has just changed forever is just a very painful process, Metz said at an afternoon news conference. The family is obviously extremely devastated.

Neighbors describe the Brentons as a quiet family whose kids would regularly play in the cul de sac on their bikes. The thought of someone stealing away that father and tearing apart this family unthinkable to neighbors like Lemke.

I don t know what this society is coming to, she said, visibly shaken. I guess nobody s safe out there, not even the people trying to keep us safe.

Plans for a public memorial service and fund for the officer's family are still in the works.

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