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UNF IT engineer killed in home invasion

Tiffany Butler

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Update — 9/21/16 @ 5:31 p.m.

Spinnaker was on the scene outside Joe Brenton’s northside home, and spoke to a neighbor who was surprised that something like this happened in his neighborhood.

“I look at it as an isolated incident,” neighbor Chris Morris said. “I would have never guessed in a million years that we would go through something like that.”

Morris went on to say that even this morning, he didn’t think someone had been killed.

“I heard about it early this morning — all the cops and stuff like that,” he said. “I kinda thought someone was sick. Nothing that included being shot.”


Update — 9/21/16 @ 1:26 p.m.

The university released an official statement about the death of Joe Brenton.

“The UNF community is saddened by the news of Joe Brenton’s passing as he was a valued employee here for 21 years. He was instrumental in building the early network and server infrastructure at UNF and continued to architect the campus network until his untimely death. Our heartfelt prayers and thoughts go out to his family and friends.”

Spinnaker is on the scene in the northside and will continue to update the story with new information.


Joe Brenton. Photo courtesy Joanna Norris

Joe Brenton. Photo courtesy Joanna Norris

UNF employee Joe Brenton was shot and killed last night, according to an email to faculty from Sharon Ashton, Vice President of Public Relations, and Jeff Durfee, Director of Networking, Systems and Security.

The killing was part of a burglary or home invasion robbery which occurred at his residence on the northside of Jacksonville, according to a release from JSO.

Brenton’s wife and daughter were also home, but according to the email, they were able to escape and are being interviewed by homicide detectives.

JSO officers are also canvassing the area searching for witnesses. Anyone with information is urged to call JSO Homicide at 904-630-2172 or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.

Brenton was a senior IT network engineer who worked at the university for over two decades.

“Joe was a valued employee who served in a number of roles during his 21 years at UNF,” Durfee wrote in an email to faculty. “He was instrumental in building the early network and server infrastructure at UNF and continued to architect the campus network until his untimely departure. He will be sorely missed.”

Spinnaker will continue to track and update this story as more information becomes available.

For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].

1 Comment

One Response to “UNF IT engineer killed in home invasion”

  1. Raheem Roberts on September 22nd, 2016 12:12 am

    What an unbelievable shock this evening to learn of Joe’s demise. I worked with him for a number of years and always knew him to be an outstanding person, professionally and personally. My heart goes out to his family, friends, and co-workers, may God bless and keep you all during this difficult time. Joe, you will be missed my friend.

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UNF IT engineer killed in home invasion