We have lost a family member. Our brother in blue was shot and killed on Sunday. It is with great sorrow that I write this blog today. An HPD veteran, husband and father was ambushed while giving chase to a crook and a coward.
The following story was written by Anita Hassan with the Houston Chronicle:
Timothy Abernethy's adventurous spirit and love of a good challenge drove him to tackle duties with the Houston Police Department that included serving on the dive team, working on bike patrol and fighting gangs. "If he could have flown to the moon, he would have," said his wife of 21 years, Stephanie. The 11-year HPD veteran was preparing for his next challenge — the bomb squad — when his life was cut short Sunday during a traffic stop in northwest Houston. The slaying shook family, friends and colleagues, who recounted the 43-year-old's calm demeanor and helpful nature. "I tell you, everybody's pretty devastated," said Gary Blankinship, president of the Houston Police Officers' Union. Earlier this year, Blankinship chose Abernethy to sit on the union's finance committee because of his character and credentials. "This guy is probably one of the most honest and conscientious people I've ever known," Blankinship said. "He was just beyond reproach. "The fifth of seven children, the officer grew up in Whidbey Island, Wash. His family returned frequently to visit his parents. "He loved that island," his wife said. The couple met in Pensacola, Fla., where they both served in the Navy. Family members described Abernethy as a caring, Christian man who was always willing to help. "He was just such a nice guy," said Abernethy's brother-in-law Steve Turnbow, 44. "He was more than a brother-in-law. He was a friend." Following in his own father's footsteps, Abernethy joined the Navy, where he worked as an electronics technician on submarines for nearly eight years. After three more years of odd jobs, Abernethy joined HPD in 1997. While she was apprehensive about her husband becoming a police officer, Stephanie Abernethy knew she had to let him do it.
"It just fit everything about him," his wife said. "He just wanted to help people."
She recalled that during her husband's first week as a patrol officer, he helped a woman who was being followed by an ex-boyfriend. That woman later baked him a cake to thank him. "That's just an example of what kind of officer he was," Stephanie Abernethy said. She noted that he was excited about his new post on the bomb squad. "He was just on cloud nine," she said.
Along with a commitment to his career, Timothy Abernethy was a devoted husband and father of two children — a 21-year-old daughter, Olivia, who just graduated from Texas A&M University, and a 20-year-old son, Tim, who is stationed in Italy with the U.S. Navy.
"He was just all about his family and all about me," Stephanie Abernethy said. "Everything and anything he did was selfless." The family is reeling from the loss. For her, the events are still surreal. "The emotions haven't sunken in yet," she said. "But I know they will." Staff writer Lindsay Wise contributed.
Please feel free to leave comments of condolence. I will make sure the family receives them.