Details are still sketchy, but KING TV in Seattle is reporting that four police officers where shot and killed near McChord Air Force Base in Parkland, Washington:
Four police officers have been shot and killed near McChord Air Force Base.
Pierce County Sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer says that the officers were in a coffee shop near 116th Street and Steele Street on the east side of the Air Force base at about 8:30 a.m.
The officers were reportedly preparing for their shift when they were ambushed by an unknown number of assailants.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the officers involved and to the members of the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department.
Update (10:25 p.m.): KING TV is reporting that police have identified a person of interest in the killings of four Lakewood police officers:
Pierce county sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said they are looking for Maurice Clemmons, 37.
Troyer said Clemmons has an extensive violent criminal history from Arkansas, including aggravated robbery and theft. He has also recently been arrested and charged in Pierce County for assault on a police officer and for rape of a child.
Troyer said Clemmons is one of several people investigators would like to talk to and can’t be called a suspect at this point.
Lakewood Police Chief Bret Farrar identified the four officers who were killed as Sergeant Mark Renninger, and Officers Ronald Owens, Tina Griswold, and Greg Richards. All were veteran police officers with families.
Update (11:00 p.m.): The Seattle Times is reporting that then Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee granted clemency to Maurice Clemmons nine years ago:
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.
I’ve never been a Huckabee fan and after this I wouldn’t give him the time of day!
(H/T: Confederate Yankee)
Update (Wednesday, December 2, 2009): Maurice Clemmons, the man wanted in connection with the killings of four Lakewood, Washington police officers on Sunday was shot and killed by a police in south Seattle on Tuesday:
A man accused of gunning down four police officers was shot and killed by authorities on Tuesday in a case that could affect a potential 2012 U.S. presidential candidate who granted him clemency in the past.
Maurice Clemmons, wanted in the Sunday morning fatal shootings of four officers in a coffee shop near Tacoma, Washington, was shot dead by a police officer in south Seattle, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department said.
I suspect police would have preferred a different outcome but I doubt anyone is going to be shedding a tear of Clemmon’s passing.