PARKLAND, Wash. – A gunman burst into a coffeehouse Sunday and opened fire on four police officers as they sat working on their laptops, killing the three men and one woman in what an official described as a targeted ambush.
Pierce County Sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer said officers were looking for one male suspect who fled the scene and haven't ruled out an accomplice, possibly a getaway driver.
Troyer said investigators had spoken to a person in nearby Tacoma, who gave information that led them to believe the gunman was on foot and still near the coffee shop. Troyer would not given any details nor characterize that person in any way, but said the information led officers to carefully search buildings close by.
It wasn't clear whether the slain officers even had time to draw their weapons to return fire, Troyer said.
"This was more of an execution. Walk in with the specific mindset to shoot police officers," Troyer said.
Troyer said the officers — all from the Lakewood Police Department — were catching up on paperwork at the beginning of their shifts when they were attacked at 8:15 a.m. Sunday.
Troyer said the attack was clearly targeted at the officers, not a robbery gone bad. "There were marked patrol cars outside and they were all in uniform," Troyer said.[/QUOTE]
Any else hear about this?
Last edited by Tyler Durden; 11-29-2009 at 11:42 PM.
It will be interesting to see how this turns out. Was it someone targeting cops in general or one (or more) of these particular cops specifically? Was it revenge for something or was it just some wacko with an anti-police bend?
That is a sad incident. Four Cops were gunned while they were getting ready for their shift is an incident that would sent down a wave of fear down the spine of many. The real motive behind the culprit's deeds is still to be known. The real thing would be an eye opener to us. Stay connected.
[QUOTE=AJAX40;3377584]i am actually contemplating a career change and becoming a police officer. Curious to see how this story develops.
Actually gonna go on a ride along on saturday with a good friend who has been an officer for 10 years.[/QUOTE]
It's a thankless job. There are good days and bad days. On a good day, you get to go home. On a bad day, anything can happen. Can't tell you how many friends I've lost already. Good luck, hope everything turns out ok. In the end it's a great feeling knowing you're a protector.
December 1, 2009
Man Said to Be Cornered in Tacoma Shooting
By WILLIAM YARDLEY and JACK HEALY
LAKEWOOD, Wash. — The police cornered a man suspected of gunning down four uniformed officers in a Seattle home early Monday and said he might have died from a gunshot wound, according to news reports.
Ed Troyer, a spokesman for the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, told The Associated Press that the suspect, Maurice Clemmons, had been shot and “may be deceased from his gunshot wound.”
It was not clear whether Mr. Clemmons, 37, had been shot during the standoff with the police, or whether he had been wounded Sunday morning outside the coffee shop near Tacoma where the four officers were killed. Earlier, police officials said there was evidence that one of the four officers had pursued the gunman into a parking lot as he fled and fired some shots, possibly striking him.
The shooting touched off a huge manhunt after the gunman fled into the area’s strip-mall sprawl. Police sharpshooters perched atop a storage facility and helicopters buzzed in the skies.
The police tracked Mr. Clemmons, whom they described as having an “extensive, violent criminal history,” to a house in Seattle’s Leschi neighborhood. There, according to news reports, police officers set up a loudspeaker and a hostage negotiator urged him to come out, saying, “I’d like to get you out of there safely. I can tell you this, we are not going away.”
Reports from the scene said that police set off noise explosions and tear gas as they tried to extract Mr. Clemmons. At one point, the sound of gunshots rang through the neighborhood.
Police said Mr. Clemmons had recently been arrested in Pierce County and charged with assaulting a police officer and raping a child.
Nine years ago in Arkansas, The Seattle Times reported, Mr. Clemmons was released from prison after Gov. Mike Huckabee commuted his lengthy prison sentence, over the protests of prosecutors.
The shooting took place near two major military bases, McChord Air Force Base and Fort Lewis, prompting initial concerns of terrorism, but officials later said they believed that the police officers were the intended targets.
Mr. Troyer said a caller reported the shooting at 8:15 a.m. Witnesses told the police that the gunman had approached the counter and was asked for an order, the authorities said. The man then opened his jacket to reveal a weapon. The employee at the counter fled and heard gunshots soon after.
Police officials said the gunman apparently caught the officers by surprise.
“Two of them were just flat executed, sitting writing reports,” Ed Troyer, a spokesman for the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office, said of the officers, who worked for the Police Department in Lakewood, just south of Tacoma. “One of them stood up and tried to go for the suspect and got shot. Then the fourth one fought his way out to the parking lot and fired off some rounds.”The officers who were killed were identified as Tina Griswold, 40; Ronald Owens, 37; Sgt. Mark Renninger, 39; and Greg Richards, 42. They worked on a patrol team for the Police Department of Lakewood, a suburb of 58,000 people. The force was formed in 2004 after the city took over law enforcement from the Sheriff’s Office. It has about 100 officers.
Mr. Troyer said the shooting did not appear to be connected to the killing of a Seattle police officer, Timothy Brenton, who was shot while sitting in a patrol car on Halloween night. Several days later, the police arrested a suspect in that shooting, Christopher Monfort. The Seattle police have said Mr. Monfort, of suburban Tukwila, also played a role in the firebombing of four Seattle police vehicles in October.
The Lakewood officers were shot at a Forza Coffee Company cafe, part of a chain of two dozen shops in Washington. The attack took place in unincorporated Pierce County, just a few hundred yards from the Lakewood city limits, in a small shopping center with a nail salon, a teriyaki restaurant and a cigar shop.
Mr. Troyer said he did not think robbery was a motive. Employees and customers were left unharmed, and no money was taken.
The coffee shop and other nearby places are popular among law enforcement officers because the area is at the intersection of the cities of Tacoma and Lakewood. “It’s a safe spot, it’s in a strip mall,” Mr. Troyer said. “It’s a place where they can plug in their computers, do reports, work and share intelligence with other police officers and agencies.”
Several residents of the nearby Willows apartment complex said the area had been hit recently by apartment and car burglaries, and at least two people said they had seen more unfamiliar faces of late.
“You hear shots from time to time,” said Lilah Casteel, who said she had lived in the complex for three years.
After the shootings, law enforcement officers from at least four departments set up roadblocks and searched streets, buildings and parking lots in a hunt for the gunman.
Brad Carpenter of Forza Coffee told The Associated Press that his staff members were answering questions from investigators. “I’m a retired police officer, so this really hits close to home for me,” he said. The employees, Mr. Troyer said, “were stunned and shocked, traumatized.”
A vigil for the officers was scheduled to be held Sunday evening at a nondenominational church in Tacoma.
Joseph Berger contributed reporting from New York and Duff Wilson from Lakewood.[/QUOTE]