Officer’s memory honored

MOUNTLAKE TERRACE – It’s been nine months since Brier police officer Eddie Thomas died in the line of duty.

His mother, Diane Thomas, 56, wants young people to learn from her son’s life.

On Wednesday, she was at Mountlake Terrace High School, where her son graduated a decade ago, to give students a message of hope and success during the school’s annual year-end assembly.

“Eddie was a goal-setter,” Diane Thomas said. “He always said, ‘Mom, if you can dream it, you can live it.’”

The school honored Eddie Thomas by dedicating this year’s yearbook to him. With help from students, yearbook adviser Beth Gilbraith designed a page in the yearbook in memory of him.

Diane Thomas also praised a student who honored Thomas on her own by writing his life’s history for her senior project. The student’s father is also a Brier police officer.

“I think it’s totally amazing and awesome they would do that for Eddie,” said Brier Police Chief Don Lane, who also spoke to the students. “It’s an honor for the police department for them to do it, and an honor for the city for them to do it.”

Mountlake Terrace senior Wesley Pair and freshman Gina Pair are cousins of Thomas’.

Thomas, who was 28, died of natural causes Sept. 12 while responding to an emergency aid call at the home of former Brier Mayor Gary Starks.

“He was very mischievous,” said Gilbraith, who was Thomas’ keyboarding teacher. “He worked hard enough, but not too hard. He did what was necessary and he always had a grin on his face.”

During the assembly, Diane Thomas was joined onstage by Trever Tillman of Mill Creek and Lynnwood police officer Chris Herrera – two of her son’s best friends since high school.

After his death, Eddie Thomas was bestowed the state’s Law Enforcement Medal of Honor and the national Fraternal Order of Police Supreme Sacrifice Medal of Honor.

The medals hung around Tillman’s and Herrera’s necks during the assembly.

“This shows what type of person he was, and how much he was appreciated,” Tillman said.

Mountlake Terrace High School Principal Greg Schwab said Eddie Thomas always kept his teachers on their toes.

He could always be counted on to have a positive attitude, he said.

“He will always be remembered for his quick wit, his sense of humor, and his willingness to give 110 percent to whatever he did,” Schwab told the audience.

Diane Thomas was moved by the school’s show of support. It means her son has not been forgotten, she said.

“The day he laid down his life, his badge and his gun, he became my hero,” she said.

Reporter Scott Pesznecker: 425-339-3436 or

Talk to us

More in Local News

An example of the Malicious Women Co. products (left) vs. the Malicious Mermaid's products (right). (U.S. District Court in Florida)
Judge: Cheeky candle copycat must pay Snohomish company over $800K

The owner of the Malicious Women Co. doesn’t expect to receive any money from the Malicious Mermaid, a Florida-based copycat.

A grave marker for Blaze the horse. (Photo provided)
After Darrington woman’s horse died, she didn’t know what to do

Sidney Montooth boarded her horse Blaze. When he died, she was “a wreck” — and at a loss as to what to do with his remains.

A fatal accident the afternoon of Dec. 18 near Clinton ended with one of the cars involved bursting into flames. The driver of the fully engulfed car was outside of the vehicle by the time first responders arrived at the scene. (Whidbey News-Times/Submitted photo)
Driver sentenced in 2021 crash that killed Everett couple

Danielle Cruz, formerly of Lynnwood, gets 17½ years in prison. She was impaired by drugs when she caused the crash that killed Sharon Gamble and Kenneth Weikle.

A person walks out of the Everett Clinic on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
The Everett Clinic changing name to parent company Optum in 2024

The parent company says the name change will not affect quality of care for patients in Snohomish County.

Tirhas Tesfatsion (GoFundMe) 20210727
Lynnwood settles for $1.7 million after 2021 suicide at city jail

Jail staff reportedly committed 16 safety check violations before they found Tirhas Tesfatsion, 47, unresponsive in her cell.

A semi-truck rolled over blocking all traffic lanes Thursday morning on I-5 north just south of Arlington on Sept. 21, 2023. (Washington State Patrol)
Overturned trailer spills fish onto I-5 near Arlington, closing lanes

The crash blocked all lanes, forcing drivers going north during rush hour to use the left shoulder.

The Marysville Municipal Jail is pictured Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Marysville weighs mandatory jail time for repeated ‘public disorder’

The “three strikes” proposal sets a minimum sentence of 30 days in jail for crimes like public drug use and trespassing.

Everett police on patrol heard gunshots near 26th Street and Lombard Avenue and closed off multiple roads as they investigated on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023. (Everett Police Department)
3 teens arrested after gunfire in downtown Everett

No one was injured. Police heard gunfire in the area of 26th Street and Lombard Avenue.

It’s time to celebrate and say thanks

Local journalism — and community support — will be the stars of Behind the News Stories on Oct. 24 in Edmonds.

Most Read