Friends, former Central Valley High School teammates and classmates, and other members of the community gathered Friday evening at Don Pedro Park on Blaker Road and Walnut Avenue to mourn the loss of and remember Timmy Henley.
Candles were lit.
Memories were shared.
Balloons were released.
Attendees held a moment of silence for 44 seconds for Timmy.
“That was his football number,” said Michael Herrera, one of Henley’s closest friends.
“There’s been a lot of reaction on social media,” said fellow 2009 CVHS grad and good buddy Victor Tubera. “People are heartbroken.”
Henley, 27, was shot and killed by police officers in Colorado on Sept. 4 during a reported robbery according to the Westminster Police Department. He was armed with a knife when he charged at the officers. The 17th Judicial District Critical Incident Team is investigating the shooting.
Henley moved to Westminster several months ago for a work assignment with Amazon.
“We can’t believe this happened. He’s gone. We’re never going to be able to talk to him again.”Michael Herrera, friend of Timmy Henley
“It’s tragic,” said Herrera, 26. “We can’t believe this happened. He’s gone. We’re never going to be able to talk to him again.”
“I talked with him two days before it happened,” said Tubera, 26. “We’re in the same fantasy football league. He seemed really happy in Colorado.”
Henley and Tubera played football together for four years at Central Valley.
“He was very energetic on the field,” Tubera said. “He was the hardest hitting person on the team.”
Henley and Tubera both attended Blaker-Kinser Jr. High.
They were rivals in elementary school.
“We first met when we played basketball against each other,” Tubera said. “He was at Don Pedro. I was at Westport. He was a stand-up guy. He was pretty well known. He was cool with everyone. He always had a smile on his face no matter what. He meant everything to his family and friends.”
“We’re not just friends,” Tubera added. “We considered each other brothers. I broke down looking at old videos and pictures of us.”
Tubera just recently found out Henley enjoyed singing.
Tubera, Henley and their circle of friends frequented Runaround Sue’s in Ceres and Torii’s in Modesto.
“He loved karaoke,” Tubera said. “Not a lot of people knew that about him. I didn’t know for the longest time.”
Herrera became friends with Henley after transferring from Modesto High to Central Valley during his freshman year.
“We’ve always been really close,” Herrera said. “We were like family. We were inseparable. We still kept in contact even when I was in the military. We worked together at Amazon in Sacramento before he moved to Colorado to boost his career. He loved his family, friends and job. His nieces and nephews meant everything to him.”
Jonovan Solorio, a 2010 Central Valley grad, played one season of prep football with Henley.
They exchanged messages on social media 19 hours before Henley was killed.
“We grew up together,” Solorio said. “I’ve known him since I was nine or 10. We were like brothers. He had a heart of gold. He had so much love for his family.”
Timmy is survived by his parents Joey Henley and Sabrina Passalaqua, brothers Tommy Henley (27), Dustin Johnson (33) and Garrett Johnson (32), sisters Kasie Johnson (31) and Nichole Henley (28), and dog Abby.
He has eight nephews and two nieces.
Henley was a diehard Minnesota Vikings fan.
“We have all kinds of good memories,” Garrett said. “He was always smiling. He wasn’t mean to nobody. If you needed help, whether he knew you or not, he’d help. He’d give you his shirt off his back. He was selfless. He loved all of his siblings’ kids.”