The sky this morning has reflected the mood here in Lakewood, Tacoma and all of Pierce County…
Yes, we woke up to the news that the suspected shooter in the deaths of 4 Lakewood Police officers this past Sunday, was no longer a threat to society. A Seattle officer investigating a possible stolen vehicle was confronted with Maurice Clemmons a little after 2:30 this morning. Shots were fired and Mr. Clemmons was shot and killed. Apparently some of his family and friends have been driving him from place to place allowing him to allude the police who were searching for him. His sister, apparently was the one that drove him to Seattle and helped him bandage the wound that occurred when one of the Lakewood officers shot him, before falling ~ mortally wounded himself. There are 3 people in custody now for helping him and more are being questioned.
About 8 hours after Mr. Clemmons was pronounced dead in Seattle….a somber procession delivered the four fallen Lakewood police officers from the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s office to Mountain View Cemetery. Mt View is about a mile from my house and it’s where my parents, grand mother, great grand parents, other relatives and friends are buried. When I heard that they were taking the officers there, I got myself together and went about 5 blocks over to South Tacoma Way, the main drag thru this part of town. There were other people waiting and a motorcycle officer at each entry to the main street. There were also many news helicopters in the air over this area.
Soon a group of motorcycle officers came around the corner of South 84th and South Tacoma Way heading in the direction of the cemetery. Following was the procession of 4 Lakewood Aid Units and then at least a hundred police vehicles from different local agencies. All driven of course by law enforcement officers but many of them containing non-law enforcement passengers~I would suspect they were the families of the slain officers.
Even though Mr. Clemmons is dead, this doesn’t make this whole tragic affair any easier. Nine children have lost their parents, families have lost their husbands, their wife, brothers, sister, fathers, mother, uncles, an aunt. And now another family has lost someone who was no doubt loved and will be missed. He may even have children….I don’t know.
In our local paper today there’s a rundown of Mr. Clemmon’s history with the criminal justice system. In 1999, at age 27, while in an Arkansas prison, he applied for clemency of his 108 year sentence. The clemency application is a seven-page form. One question reads, “What is your reason for requesting executive clemency at this time?” Maurice Clemmons answered with a single word; “Mercy.”