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 Lakewood...it 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.