Monday, November 29, 2010

November 29th

Thanksgiving day 2009, parolee Maurice Clemmons sat down to Thanksgiving dinner with family members and friends.  Upset about a recent arrest for assulting a police officer and child rape, he boasted that he was going to start killing cops  and others, including school children.  He had recently been released from jail after posting $150,000 bail.   Hearing these threats,  sadly none of those people at the dinner table that day bothered to call the police and let them know about this discussion.  Maurice who came from a large family had been in and out of trouble since he was 17 years old. That day at the dinner table he talked of the guns he had stockpiled and even danced around at  one point brandishing two guns that he had with him.

Sunday morning, November 29, 2009.....four Lakewood, Washington police officers were sitting in a Forza Coffee shop before going on duty....discussing their games plans for their day.  It was a common practice for officers to meet at this coffee shop, to confer with each other regrading on-going cases, etc.  While they sat there, Maurice Clemmons had driven to the home of  Darcus Allen, a paroled murderer that Clemmons met while imprisioned in Arkansas.  Together they happened to drive past the Forza Coffee  shop and Clemmons noticed the 4 marked Lakewood Police vehicles parked there.  They drove by a couple more times and then pulled into a car washing facility across from the coffee shop.  While Darcus Allen stayed with their vehicle, Maurice Clemmons (armed with guns) walked across the street, entered the coffee shop and shot all for officers execution style.  The other customers in the coffee shop and the two barisatas were not harmed and he did not threaten them.  He was only after the officers.

That day four beloved members of the Lakewood Police Department lost their lives.  In just a few moments the lives of their families and friends were  forever changed.  

For those of us who live in changed us too.  I know I will never again see Tina come cruising thru the mobile home park, where I live.  Never again see her smile and the wave of her hand when I'm out working in my yard.   It seemed we were on her 'beat' and if she was on duty, she would drive thru slowly at least once a day.  

Maurice Clemmons was actually wounded by one of the officers before he died in the doorway of the coffee shop.  Clemmons got to the waiting vehicle and was driven to homes of  various family and friends where he was treated for the gunshot wound, given clean clothes, money and was given refuge. A huge manhunt thru out the Tacoma-Seattle area commenced and early in the morning of December 1st, a Seattle officer noticed what appeared to be an abandoned car, parked with it's hood up.  While he sat in his patrol car, he radioed in the cars information to his station.  As he sat in his car, he noticed a man approaching and soon realized it was Maurice Clemmons. He got out of his car, ordered Clemmons to put his hands up.  But instead Clemmons pulled out a gun and was shot and killed by the Seattle officer.   

This last fall the trials began for 7  people who aided Maurice Clemmons.  Some have already been sentenced and others are still awaiting their sentences for their part in that very sad day, November 29, 2009.

Rest in peace Sgt Mark Renninger, Officer Ronald Owens,Officer Tina Griswold & Officer Greg Richards.
Thank you for your service~We miss you!

I would be remiss if I did not mention the other two officers that were killed with-in a two month period of the Lakewood officer shooting.  On Halloween night 2009 Seattle Officer Timothy Brenton was sitting in his patrol car on the side of a street, going over a traffic stop with a rookie officer when a car pulled up along side of them and shot him.  The officer in training was wounded and has since recovered and returned to duty.   Then on December 21, 2009 , here in a rural area of Tacoma  Sheriff Deputy Kent Mundell and his partner responded to an 'unwanted guest ' call.  As they were escorting the man out of the house, he pulled a gun gravely injuring Deputy Mundell, who died a week later and severly wounding his partner.   Deputy Mundell was able to get off enough shots and killed the man before falling wounded to the floor.  The wounded partner, Deputy Nick Hausner,  just returned to duty in the last few months.

May we all remember that daily these people not only put on their uniforms but they put their lives on the line to "Serve and Protect" our communities. And that when they leave their homes each day...they leave behind family and friends who love them.


Lisa said...

What a horrible story. I remember when this happened. I don't know how people can have such darkness in their hearts regardless of their childhoods/pasts. May those officers Rest in Peace.

Lisa said...

My prayers go out to these officers' families.

Jan said...

Those poor familys ,God Bless them all Jan xx

ADB said...

I remember watching part of the service of commemoration via the internet, Linda. A very sad occasion, and your community remains in thoughts at this difficult time.

Monica said...

I just posted something on this myself. I sat on it all day before I could finally post the entry.

It was a horrible loss for their families and the community. I simply can't imgaine being filled with so much hatered or how the family could sit by and help him with medical care, hiding him, etc.

Frances said...

You did a very good job remembering these officers, Linda. I pray God will be with their families and lessen the pain they are feeling on this anniversary of their passing.

Jimmy's Journal said...

What a shame and how sad for the the surviving family memembers of the officers. God bless them!


Marlene said...

Linda, I remember that day and how upset you were. It was on our news here too. Doesn't seem like a year has gone by already. What a terrible loss.

Jeannette said...

I remember when it happened Linda, it must have been a dreadful shock to you all in Lakewood. My thoughts go out to you all and especially the police officers families. Jeannette xx

Ally Lifewithally said...

Linda such a dreadful thing to happen ~ my thoughts and prayers are with the Police Officers families ~ Allyx

The Brown Recluse said...

What a just breaks my heart for the friends and family left behind. I can never understand what happens in a person's heart that they can do such evil to others.

Thank you for remembering, Linda