Four Lakewood, WA police officers shot and killed in 'ambush'

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Four Lakewood, WA police officers shot and killed in 'ambush'

Post by Justice4all on Sun Nov 29, 2009 3:07 pm

PARKLAND, Wash. - Four Lakewood Police officers were shot and killed Sunday morning in what authorities called a targeted ambush at a coffee shop.

Pierce County Sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer says the officers - four male and one female - were in full uniform and wearing bulletproof vests, sitting in Forza coffee shop near 116th Street and Steele Street on the east side of the Air Force base at about 8:30 a.m.

Troyer says the officers were preparing for their shift when a suspect or suspects "walked in with a handgun, opened fire multiple times and then fled the scene," said Troyer.

Troyer called it an "ambush."

"They had marked police cars, marked uniforms, there were other people inside the facility, they weren't shot, wounded or hurt or even aimed at, just the police officers were," said Troyer.

It wasn't clear whether the 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.

Police are searching for a male suspect and interviewing witnesses. There were two employees and a few customers in the shop at the time of the shooting.

The Forza Coffee Shop, part of a popular local chain, is on a side street near McChord Air Force Base in Tacoma, about 35 miles south of Seattle. The shop is in a small retail center alongside two restaurants, a cigar store and a nail salon.

Brad Carpenter, founder and owner of Forza Coffee, said his staff was OK and being interviewed by police, and that his main concern was with the families of the police officers.

"I'm a retired police officer, so this really hits close to home for me," he said.

Roads are blocked around the scene. Dave Gabrielson, a clerk at Foot Mart about a block away from the coffee shop, told the News Tribune that all was quiet when he opened the store at 8 a.m.

About 30 minutes later, "All of a sudden a million cops were zooming up and down the road," he said.

The baristas who were inside the shop are "stunned and shocked, traumatized," Troyer said.

Troyer said investigators believe the officers were targeted, and it was not a robbery.

"We hopefully will have answers, but there is nothing more we can tell you," Troyer said. "That's as cold-hearted as it is."

Troyer said there are four or five active scenes that police are working on.

Troyer said the suspect is a black male, 5-foot-7 and 5-foot-10, 20s to 30s, scruffy appearance, wearing a black coat and blue jeans.

He said they are looking to see if there is any surveillance cameras that may have caught the suspect on video.

A $10,000 reward is being offered for information. Tips can be called in to (253) 591-5959 or 866-977-2362.

http://www.king5.com/news/local/Police-officers-shot-78089882.html
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Re: Four Lakewood, WA police officers shot and killed in 'ambush'

Post by Justice4all on Mon Nov 30, 2009 3:42 pm

Maurice Clemmons, man wanted for questioning, has troubling criminal history



By Seattle Times staff
Maurice Clemmons, the 37-year-old Tacoma man being sought for questioning in the killing this morning of four Lakewood police officers, has a long criminal record punctuated by violence, erratic behavior and concerns about his mental health.

Nine years ago, then-Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee granted clemency to Clemmons, commuting his lengthy prison sentence over the protests of prosecutors.

"This is the day I've been dreading for a long time," Larry Jegley, prosecuting attorney for Arkansas' Pulaski County said tonight when informed that Clemmons was being sought for questioning in connection with the killings.

Clemmons' criminal history includes at least five felony convictions in Arkansas and at least eight felony charges in Washington. The record also stands out for the number of times he has been released from custody despite questions about the danger he posed.

Huckabee, who ran for the Republican presidential nomination last year, issued a statement tonight calling the slaying of the police officers "a horrible and tragic event."

If Clemmons is found responsible, "it will be the result of a series of failures in the criminal justice system in both Arkansas and Washington State," Huckabee said.

He added that Clemmons' release from prison had been reviewed and approved by the Arkansas parole board.

Clemmons had been in jail in Pierce County for the past several months on a pending charge of second-degree rape of a child. He was released from custody just six days ago, even though was staring at seven additional felony charges in Washington state.

Clemmons posted $15,000 with a Chehalis company called Jail Sucks Bail Bonds. The bondsman, in turn, put up $150,000, securing Clemmons' release on the pending child-rape charge.

Clemmons lives in Tacoma, where he has run a landscaping and power-washing business out of his house, according to a police interview with his wife earlier this year.

He was married, but the relationship was tumultuous, with accounts of his unpredictable behavior leading to at least two confrontations with police earlier this year.

During the confrontation in May, Clemmons punched a sheriff's deputy in the face, according to court records. As part of that incident, he was charged with seven counts of assault and malicious mischief.

In another instance, Clemmons was accused of gathering his wife and young relatives around at 3 or 4 in the morning and having them all undress. He told them that families need to "be naked for at least 5 minutes on Sunday," a Pierce County sheriff's report says.

"The whole time Clemmons kept saying things like trust him, the world is going to end soon, and that he was Jesus," the report says.

As part of the child-rape investigation, the sheriff's office interviewed Clemmons' sister in May. She told them that "Maurice is not in his right mind and did not know how he could react when contacted by Law Enforcement," a sheriff's report says.

"She stated that he was saying that the secret service was coming to get him because he had written a letter to the President. She stated his behavior has become unpredictable and erratic. She suspects he is having a mental breakdown," the report says.

Deputies also interviewed other family members. They reported that Clemmons had been saying he could fly and that he expected President Obama to visit to "confirm that he is Messiah in the flesh."

Prosecutors in Pierce County were sufficiently concerned about Clemmons' mental health that they asked to have him evaluated at Western State Hospital. Earlier this month, on Nov. 6, a psychologist concluded that Clemmons was competent to stand trial on the child-rape and other felony charges, according to court records.

Clemmons moved Washington in 2004, after being released from prison in Arkansas, state Department of Corrections records indicate. That would mean he had gone five years or so before landing in serious trouble with authorities here, according to a review of his criminal record.

Clemmons started Sea-Wash Pressure Washing Landscaping with his wife, Nicole Smith, in October 2005. The license for the business expired last month.

Long history of trouble in Arkansas

News accounts out of Arkansas offer a confusing — and, at times, conflicting — description of Clemmons' criminal history and prison time.

In 1990, Clemmons, then 18, was sentenced in Arkansas to 60 years in prison for burglary and theft of property, according to a news account in Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Newspaper stories describe a series of disturbing incidents involving Clemmons while he was being tried in Arkansas on various charges.

During one trial, Clemmons was shackled in leg irons and seated next to a uniformed officer. The presiding judge ordered the extra security because he felt Clemmons had threatened him, court records show.

Another time, Clemmons hid a hinge in his sock, and was accused of intending to use it as a weapon. Yet another time, Clemmons took a lock from a holding cell, and threw it toward the bailiff. He missed and instead hit Clemmons' mother, who had come to bring him street clothes, according to records and published reports.

On another occasion, Clemmons had reached for a guard's pistol during transport to the courtroom.

When Clemmons received the 60-year sentence, he was already serving 48 years on five felony convictions and facing up to 95 more years on charges of robbery, theft of property and possessing a handgun on school property. Records from Clemmons' sentencing described him as 5-foot-7 and 108 pounds. The crimes were committed when he was 17.

Clemmons served 11 years before being released.

News accounts say Huckabee commuted Clemmons' sentence, citing Clemmons' young age at the time the crimes were committed.

But Clemmons remained on parole — and soon after landed in trouble again. In March 2001, he was accused of violating his parole by committing aggravated robbery and theft, according to a story in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

He was returned to prison on a parole violation. But in what appears to have been a mistake, Clemmons was not actually served with the arrest warrants until leaving prison three years later. As a result, Clemmons' attorney argued that the charges should be dismissed because too much time had passed. Prosecutors dropped the charges.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2010385617_webmansought29.html
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Re: Four Lakewood, WA police officers shot and killed in 'ambush'

Post by Justice4all on Mon Nov 30, 2009 3:45 pm

This is another tragedy that could have been avoided if a criminal had been forced to serve all of his sentence.
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Re: Four Lakewood, WA police officers shot and killed in 'ambush'

Post by JAG on Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:51 am

Yep and now he is dead, along with the 4 officers and still no answers as to why.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/12/01/washington.suspect.shot/index.html

Seattle, Washington (CNN) -- The suspect in the deaths of four police officers in Lakewood, Washington, had a weapon from one of the slain officers when he was shot and killed Tuesday, police said.

A Seattle officer on routine patrol shot and killed Maurice Clemmons, 37, in south Seattle after Clemmons challenged him, authorities said.

Several people who allegedly tried to help Clemmons elude police have been arrested, said Ed Troyer, a spokesman for the Pierce County Sheriff's Office.

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Re: Four Lakewood, WA police officers shot and killed in 'ambush'

Post by Dis on Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:02 am

Who would help this POS? I would have shot him myself if he was related to me.
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Re: Four Lakewood, WA police officers shot and killed in 'ambush'

Post by Justice4all on Tue Dec 01, 2009 3:05 pm

Thanks for posting that Jag. I think it is despicable that people were trying to help this cop killer escape. I hope anybody who helped him gets jail time. The article says that some of those helping him even went as far as calling in false leads.
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Re: Four Lakewood, WA police officers shot and killed in 'ambush'

Post by Piper on Tue Dec 01, 2009 7:04 pm

I believe they have several in custody that assisted him. Friends and family. I guess his sister dressed the POS's wounds. He apparently harbored hatred towards the law. He should never have been released. Unfortunately, 4 officers were slain only because they were cops. They got him in the end though.
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Re: Four Lakewood, WA police officers shot and killed in 'ambush'

Post by randilynn on Tue Dec 01, 2009 8:38 pm

this "man" should NEVER have been on the streets to harm these officers or anyone else...

such a tragedy that could have been avoided if only some people used a little common sense.

my heart goes out to the families of his victims.
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Re: Four Lakewood, WA police officers shot and killed in 'ambush'

Post by Justice4all on Thu Dec 03, 2009 11:05 pm

Maurice Clemmons' Alleged Get-Away Man May Get Charged with Seattle Cop Killings

SEATTLE (CBS/AP) Prosecutors say Darcus Allen drove his old prison buddy Maurice Clemmons to a Seattle café where Clemmons shot four police officers and then, as Clemmons stumbled out with a bullet in his side, Allen helped him escape.

Now, they are considering charging Allen with aggravated first degree murder, which carries the same penalties as if he had shot the officers himself – life without release, or execution.

Allen, 38, one of six people who prosecutors say helped Clemmons avoid capture for two days after shooting four Lakewood police officers, appeared with two others in Pierce County Superior Court Wednesday Dec. 2.

Allen pleaded not guilty and was ordered held without bail after being charged with being a fugitive. Prosecutors say they are reviewing evidence to determine if they will upgrade his charges.

"We will prosecute everyone involved in this murder to the greatest extent possible," said Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist.

Investigators say Allen, who did time with Clemmons in an Arkansas prison, was the first among a network of friends and relatives who helped Clemmons avoid police during a frantic two-day manhunt.

Court papers filed Wednesday state that Allen eventually admitted to police that he drove Clemmons to the Forza coffee house where Clemmons shot to death Lakewood police officers Greg Richards, Tina Griswold, Mark Renninger and Ronald Owens.

Allen told police that he noted the police cars in the parking lot as he and Clemmons drove up and that he bought a cigar while waiting for Clemmons to return, according to court papers. Allen then told police that he sped away when Clemmons got back in the car with a bullet in his side but that he wanted no part in what Clemmons had done and bailed out of the truck at the first intersection, according to the court papers. But prosecutors dispute this sequence of events.

Along with Allen, two women also appeared Wednesday and were ordered held for 72 hours on $500,000 bail. Police say that Clemmons’ friend, Quiana Maylea Williams, and his aunt Letricia Nelson gave him first aid and helped him change clothes and made arrangements to get him to other locations.

Wednesday’s appearances brings the number of “helpers” to six, including two brothers, Eddie Lee Davis and Douglas Edward Davis, who are charged with rendering criminal assistance, and a third man, Clemmons' half-brother Rickey Hinton, was ordered held pending charges.

Clemmons, 37, was shot to death early Tuesday Dec. 1 by Seattle police officer Benjamin Kelly on a South Seattle street.

http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/12/03/crimesider/entry5877703.shtml?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CBSNewsCrimesider+%28Crimesider+-+CBS+News%29
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Sister of suspected cop killer charged

Post by Justice4all on Thu Dec 10, 2009 5:16 pm

Seattle, Washington (CNN) -- The sister of the suspect in the killing of four police officers in Washington was charged Wednesday with helping another suspect connected to the crime elude authorities, prosecutors said.

Latanya Clemmons was the seventh person charged in connection with the November 29 police killings and intense manhunt for suspected gunman Maurice Clemmons.

Clemmons, 37, was shot and killed by a Seattle police officer after a two-day manhunt that stretched across the Seattle and Tacoma, Washington, metropolitan areas. Friends and family helped Clemmons during the search, authorities said.

Latanya Clemmons was charged Wednesday with rendering criminal assistance, according to a statement from Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist.

Clemmons helped her brother's alleged getaway driver rent a hotel room and gave him bus fare to leave the state and elude police, Lindquist said.

"We will not rest until everyone who assisted the killer, in any way, is brought to justice," he said. "When you help a criminal, you become a criminal."

Police say Maurice Clemmons killed the four officers from Lakewood, Washington, in an ambush-style shooting at a coffee shop.

On Tuesday, an estimated 20,000 people attended a service for the victims -- Sgt. Mark Renninger and officers Tina Griswold, Ron Owens and Greg Richards.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/12/10/washington.police.shooting/
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