Suspect in Lakewood shooting of four police officers evades SWAT team

 

 
 
 
 
Seattle Police officers look over a hand drawn map of the neighborhood search where an all night stakeout took place in Seattle, Washington November 30, 2009. Maurice Clemmons, a suspect in the killing of four Lakewood police officers, was reportedly seen at a house in the neighborhood Sunday night. Lakewood Officers Tina Griswold, 40, Gregory Richards, 42, Sgt. Mark Renninger, 39, and Ronald Owens, 37 where killed in a coffee house 30 miles south of the search. The suspect is still on the loose.
 
 

Seattle Police officers look over a hand drawn map of the neighborhood search where an all night stakeout took place in Seattle, Washington November 30, 2009. Maurice Clemmons, a suspect in the killing of four Lakewood police officers, was reportedly seen at a house in the neighborhood Sunday night. Lakewood Officers Tina Griswold, 40, Gregory Richards, 42, Sgt. Mark Renninger, 39, and Ronald Owens, 37 where killed in a coffee house 30 miles south of the search. The suspect is still on the loose.

Photograph by: Marcus Donner, Reuters

SEATTLE - A police SWAT team Monday morning swarmed a Seattle home surrounded overnight but did not find suspected cop killer Maurice Clemmons inside.

A murder warrant has been issued for Clemmons, the man suspected of killing four Lakewood, Wash., police officers Sunday in a coffee shop, Pierce County sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer said.

Those killed were identified as Sgt. Mark Renninger, 39, and officers Ronald Owens, 37, Tina Griswold, 40, and Gregory Richards, 42.

Police had surrounded the home late Sunday night and Troyer said the search of the house finished shortly after 7 a.m. Monday morning. Officers searched with a robot before SWAT officers moved in.

There is a $125,000 reward for information leading to Clemmons' capture.

By 7:45 a.m., police had removed the barricade allowing residents access to the neighbourhood.

Clemmons was shot and perhaps seriously wounded by one of the slain officers Sunday morning, Troyer said.

"He has suffered a gunshot wound," Troyer said at a media briefing held just before 3 a.m.

Police know that Clemmons was wounded because they have detained other people — Troyer wouldn't say how many — who helped Clemmons after the shootings.

At the briefing, Troyer said police now consider Clemmons a suspect, rather than merely a "person of interest."

Police don't know the severity of Clemmons' wound, and Troyer said he may already be dead.

Investigators have no indication that Clemmons had a motive aimed specifically at any of the particular officers who were gunned down, Troyer said.

"He was upset about being incarcerated," Troyer said. "He was just targeting cops."

The series of events began Sunday at an upscale coffee shop, a hangout for officers that became the scene of the deadliest attack on law enforcement in state history.

Four officers were shot and killed at 8:15 a.m. The first two officers were "flat-out executed," while the third tried to stop the gunman and the fourth fired at him, Troyer said.

Lakewood Police Chief Bret Farrar has scheduled a news conference Monday afternoon to discuss the officers and the shooting. A community prayer service is planned for 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Clemmons has a long criminal record in Arkansas and Washington. He was released from custody just a week ago, and was facing a charge of raping a child. Family members described him as being in a state of mental deterioration. Last spring, he was also accused of punching a sheriff's deputy in the face.

Troyer said a scruffy-looking gunman entered the shop, walked past the officers and three or four other customers, and approached the counter.

A young barista asked the man if she could help him, according to Humberto Navarrete, 51, who lives nearby and later spoke to the barista. The man stared at the barista without saying a word and then opened his coat, revealing a handgun, Navarrete said.

The barista and another female barista on duty ran out the back, according to Navarrete. The gunman turned and started shooting at the officers, he said, quoting the women.

"This was a targeted, selective ambush," Troyer said.

The officers, who made up one patrol unit, were regulars at the coffee shop. They were wearing bulletproof vests and were preparing to start their day shift, Troyer said.

The first two officers apparently had no time to react. The third officer stood up and tried to go for the gunman before being shot, Troyer said. The fourth officer struggled with the gunman, wrestled him out the door and managed to fire off some shots before he, too, was killed, Troyer said.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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Seattle Police officers look over a hand drawn map of the neighborhood search where an all night stakeout took place in Seattle, Washington November 30, 2009. Maurice Clemmons, a suspect in the killing of four Lakewood police officers, was reportedly seen at a house in the neighborhood Sunday night. Lakewood Officers Tina Griswold, 40, Gregory Richards, 42, Sgt. Mark Renninger, 39, and Ronald Owens, 37 where killed in a coffee house 30 miles south of the search. The suspect is still on the loose.
 

Seattle Police officers look over a hand drawn map of the neighborhood search where an all night stakeout took place in Seattle, Washington November 30, 2009. Maurice Clemmons, a suspect in the killing of four Lakewood police officers, was reportedly seen at a house in the neighborhood Sunday night. Lakewood Officers Tina Griswold, 40, Gregory Richards, 42, Sgt. Mark Renninger, 39, and Ronald Owens, 37 where killed in a coffee house 30 miles south of the search. The suspect is still on the loose.

Photograph by: Marcus Donner, Reuters

 
Seattle Police officers look over a hand drawn map of the neighborhood search where an all night stakeout took place in Seattle, Washington November 30, 2009. Maurice Clemmons, a suspect in the killing of four Lakewood police officers, was reportedly seen at a house in the neighborhood Sunday night. Lakewood Officers Tina Griswold, 40, Gregory Richards, 42, Sgt. Mark Renninger, 39, and Ronald Owens, 37 where killed in a coffee house 30 miles south of the search. The suspect is still on the loose.
A Seattle Police investigator looks for evidence at the home where an all night stakeout took place in Seattle, Washington November 30, 2009.  Maurice Clemmons, a suspect in the killing of four Lakewood police officers, was reportedly seen at a house in the neighborhood Sunday night. Lakewood Officers Tina Griswold, 40, Gregory Richards, 42, Sgt. Mark Renninger, 39, and Ronald Owens, 37 where killed in a coffee house 30 miles south of the search. The suspect is still on the loose.
A Seattle Police investigator looks for evidence at the home where an all night stakeout took place in Seattle, Washington November 30, 2009.  Broken windows can be seen where police fired tear gas and flash bang devices through the windows.
Seattle Police officers stand near the home where an all night stakeout took place in Seattle, Washington November 30, 2009.  Maurice Clemmons , a suspect in the killing of four Lakewood police officers, was reportedly seen at the house Sunday night.
Seattle Police officers and Sheriff's officers talk in front of the home where an all night stakeout took place in Seattle, Washington November 30, 2009.
A Seattle Police car displays a hand drawn map of the neighborhood search where an all night stakeout took place in Seattle, Washington November 30, 2009. Maurice Clemmons, a suspect in the killing of four Lakewood police officers, was reportedly seen at a house in the neighborhood Sunday night.  Lakewood Officers Tina Griswold, 40,  Gregory Richards, 42, Sgt. Mark Renninger, 39, and Ronald Owens, 37 where killed in a coffee house 30 miles south of the search.  The suspect is still on the loose.
The home where an all night stakeout by Seattle Police took place in Seattle, Washington November 30, 2009. Maurice Clemmons, a suspect in the killing of four Lakewood police officers, was reportedly seen at the house Sunday night. Lakewood Officers Tina Griswold, 40,  Gregory Richards, 42, Sgt. Mark Renninger, 39, and Ronald Owens, 37 where killed in a coffee house 30 miles south of the search. The suspect is still on the loose.
(Clockwise from top left) Lakewood Police officers Greg Richards, Mark Renninger, Tina Griswold and Ronald Owens are pictured in this handout released by the Pierce County Sheriff's Department on November 29, 2009. The four officers were shot and killed at a coffee shop in Tacoma, a Washington suburb of Parkland. The gunman escaped and a reward for information has been offered.
A Seattle Police Department officer talks with a school bus driver near the scene of an all night stakeout in Seattle, Washington November 30, 2009 after searching for Maurice Clemmons, a suspect in the killing of four Lakewood police officers. Lakewood Officers Tina Griswold, 40,  Gregory Richards, 42, Sgt. Mark Renninger, 39, and Ronald Owens, 37 where killed in a coffee house 30 miles south of the search.  The suspect is still on the loose.
Seattle Police Department SWAT team officers leave the scene of an all night stakeout in Seattle, Washington November 30, 2009 after searching for Maurice Clemmons, a suspect in the killing of four Lakewood police officers.  Lakewood Officers Tina Griswold, 40,  Gregory Richards, 42, Sgt. Mark Renninger, 39, and Ronald Owens, 37 where killed in a coffee house 30 miles south of the search.  The suspect is still on the loose.
Seattle Police Detective Jeff Kappel briefs the media at the scene of an all night stakeout in Seattle, Washington November 30, 2009 after searching for Maurice Clemmons, a suspect in the killing of four Lakewood police officers.  Lakewood Officers Tina Griswold, 40, Gregory Richards, 42, Sgt. Mark Renninger, 39, and Ronald Owens, 37 where killed in a coffee house 30 miles south of the search.  The suspect is still on the loose.
Police want to question Maurice Clemmons, 37, in connection with Sunday’s shootings of four Lakewood Department police officers at a coffee shop in Lakewood, Wash.
Police officers stand outside the coffee shop where four police officers were shot and killed in the Tacoma, Washington suburb of Parkland, November 29, 2009. The gunman fled on foot.
A crime scene investigator from the Washington State Patrol looks over the scene where four police officer were shot and killed at a coffee shop in the Tacoma suburb of Parkland, Washington, November 29, 2009. The gunman fled on foot. Troopers and other law enforcement officials are helping with the investigation in the Tacoma suburb of about 60,000, which is about 40 miles southwest of Seattle and near McChord Air Force Base.
A police officer helps cordone off the scene where four police officers were shot and killed at a coffee shop in the Tacoma, Washington suburb of Parkland, November 29, 2009. The gunman fled on foot.
Unidentified police officers stand outside a coffee shop in Parkland, Washington, where four police officers were shot and killed by a gunman, November 29, 2009. Parkland is a suburb of Tacoma.
A gunman walked into a Lakewood, Washington, coffee shop around 8:15 Sunday morning and fatally shot four police officers. Here, police officers investigate the scene.
A gunman walked into a Lakewood, Washington, coffee shop around 8:15 Sunday morning and fatally shot four police officers. Here, police officers investigate the scene.
This screengrab shows the location of the Forza coffee shop in Lakewood Wash., where four police officers were shot dead Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009. The mall is located at 11401 Steele Street South.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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