Follow the latest information on the slaying of four Lakewood Police officers and investigation.
Police continue to search for Clemmons. Detectives have detained several of Clemmons’ friends, family members and acquaintances — and could arrest and book many of them into jail for helping Clemmons elude capture, Pierce County sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said.
Police conducting “tactical operations” at four sites, including Renton house. Officers have search warrants for all.
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Police say Clemmon’s friends and family members lied to mislead officers. “If they are going to impede our investigation then they become a part of the investigation,” said Pierce County sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer.
Detectives have detained some of Clemmons’ friends and family members. Cops say they could be charged with helping him hide.
A source says Clemmons was not in the Renton area house surrounded by police.
SWAT team has arrested a relative of Clemmons who is believed to be helping him. Police are at a location near Renton but have asked media not to disclose the address.
There is police activity, including a blockade, at Renton Ave. S. and S.130th St. in Renton.
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee just finished an appearance on Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor to talk about his decision to grant Maurice Clemmons’ request for clemency in 2000. Until a link to the specific interview becomes available, here’s a link to the show’s Web site.
Fox News commentator and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is scheduled to appear on The O’Reilly Factor shortly. We will add a link to his interview once it becomes available.
Huckabee granted Maurice Clemmons’ appeal for clemency in 2000. Huckabee released a statement late Sunday regarding the news of Clemmons’ suspected crime.
Officers looking for Maurice Clemmons have concluded the suspected killer of four Lakewood police officers has been getting help and shelter from friends and relatives since shortly after the Sunday morning shooting.
“Basically, there’s no way that he could be doing this by himself, He was shot in the abdomen,” said Sheri Badger, Pierce County spokeswoman at the incident command center.
Badger said every hospital in King, Pierce, Thurston and Snohomish counties has been told to contact police if a patient shows up for treatment of a gunshot wound.
Also frustrating to law-enforcement officers is that Clemmons reported told acquaintances the night before the attack to “watch the news” because he was going to “kill cops.”
No one reported his comments to police until after the attack, Badger said.
A Facebook memorial page created to honor the four slain Lakewood police officers has become a repository for the community’s shock and grief. By midday Monday, the page had more than 60,000 visits from people around the country.
Seattle police officers will be in the Leschi area tonight handing out fliers with the following information:
On November 29th at approximately 8:44 p.m. Seattle Police received information that a person of interest in the murder of four Lakewood Police Officers was dropped off near a residence in the 3800 block of East Superior Street. Patrol and SWAT officers immediately responded and began surrounding the area. Seattle Police hostage negotiators and Pierce County Sheriff’s Office investigators also responded to the scene.
As officers began surrounding a residence that the suspect was last seen at, they were summoned by residents in the area to search other structures and dwellings for the presence of the suspect. After containment was established, negotiators continuously attempted to contact the suspect to no avail.
SWAT deployed noise and other attention-getting projectiles at the residence. Chemical irritants were also used in an attempt to persuade the suspect to exit the residence. When these devices also failed to achieve the desired result, officers deployed a robot, utilizing a camera for surveying the immediate area. The robot made entry into the house and detected no persons inside. The SWAT team then made entry and verified that there was nobody inside the residence. We have evidence that the suspect was on scene, but it is unknown if the suspect actually entered the residence.
All officers citywide continue to be on the lookout for the suspect, who remains at large. However, we have no specific indication that the suspect remains in the city limits.
Pierce County Sheriff’s Office investigators along with Seattle Police CSI detectives in a supporting role are continuing the search of the residence and the processing of the scene. We are continuing to conduct house checks and a search of the Leschi neighborhood with the assistance of K-9 units.
The Seattle Police Department continues to offer any and all assistance requested to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office and the Lakewood Police Department.
For all inquiries regarding this investigation, please contact the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office, who remain the lead agency in this investigation. PCSO has two crime tip lines set up and they are 253-591-5959 or 866-977-2362.
We ask that anyone with information concerning the whereabouts of suspect Clemmons, who is considered armed and extremely dangerous, call 911 immediately.
Police are no longer seeking the green Mazda they said was registered to Clemmons’ wife.
“Our hearts ache for the families of Sergeant Mark Renninger, Officer Tina Griswold, Officer Ronald Owens and Officer Gregory Richards. We pray that they will be granted strength during this time of unbearable grief. Our thoughts are also with the officers of the Lakewood Police Department who continue to provide public safety services to the citizens of Lakewood. Their families are painfully aware of the risks that are inherent in their loved ones’ chosen profession.”
“We remain hopeful for the swift capture of the monster who robbed them of their husband, wife, father, mother, son and daughter.”
Latanya Clemmons, 34, is Maurice Clemmons’ sister.
She said her brother bought the house she lives in in Tacoma, but he lives elsewhere. She said she was in Leschi last night, and when she got home she could tell police had been there.
There was smoke-bomb residue on the carpet, and a search warrant on the coffee table. Police had taken her poodle, which she retrieved from the Humane Society today.
She said police had taken cameras, her computer and paperwork ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ– mostly papers for research she was doing regarding crisis intervention and mental health, stemming from her brother’s Nov. 5 court date when he found competent to stand trial after evaluation.
Washington State’s Child Protective Services confirmed that the agency had “founded” – or substantiated – a complaint of child sexual abuse in October against Maurice Clemmons, the suspect in the fatal shooting of four Lakewood Police officers.
DSHS spokeswoman Sherry Hill said the agency received a complaint from police about Clemmons on May 26, 2009, two weeks after the Pierce County Sheriff began a child rape investigation involving a 12 year-old female relative. CPS began investigating the next day, Hill said.
The Pierce County Sheriff’s investigation led to a child rape charge being filed on July 2. Clemmons was arrested the same day.
After reviewing the police records and doing interviews of its own, CPS finished the investigation and issued it’s “founded” conclusion on Oct. 23, 2009. It closed the case the same day, ending CPS oversight of Clemmons, his wife and girl, said Hill. She explained the four-month gap between CPS starting and finishing its investigation by noting that the agency defers to law enforcement when CPS and police are pursuing the same allegations.
A “founded” child abuse conclusion can lead to a child being placed in custody or with relatives, but CPS instead referred the victim and Nicole Smith, who is Clemmon’s wife, to counseling. “As far as we can tell, it looks like they were accessing the services we offered,” said Hill. “And (Clemmons) was not in the home. He was in jail by then.”
The child-rape allegation against Clemmons was the only complaint CPS has received involving him, Smith, or the girl.
About six officers in SWAT gear pulled up to Nicole Smith’s Tacoma home and four went inside. They were escorted in by a young man who pulled up in a silver Honda.
Smith is Clemmons’ wife. Police are seeking her and are looking for her car.
Police are at Cowen Park in Ravenna after someone spotted what appeared to be fresh blood.
Lt. Dave McDonald of the Puyallup Police Department said detectives believe Clemmons was armed with more than one handgun during Sunday morning’s attack. One handgun used in the shootings was recovered at the coffee shop. Police think he dropped it during a fight with one of the officers. He was able to kill that officer, likely with a second handgun.
Police are searching for a green 1997 Mazda Millenia with Washington license plate 208-SSX. The vehicle is registered to Clemmons’ wife. Police said she may be headed to Arkansas.
Seattle police have closed off an area near South Dearborn Street and Maynard Avenue South near Qwest Field after some bloody gauze was found in the street. It’s too early to say if it’s connected to this case.
The Washington State Patrol sent this release:
The Washington State Patrol mourns the deaths of four city of Lakewood officers killed in what appeared to be a planned ambush yesterday morning.
While we honor the lives and sacrifice of all four officers, the death of Officer Ron Owens hits especially close to home. Owens was a former state trooper, having served our agency from 1997 until he left to join the Lakewood Police Department in 2004.
Owens spent the bulk of his state patrol career in King and Pierce Counties assigned to uniformed patrol. As a trooper-cadet, he spent about 15 months working as part of the patrol’s Commercial Vehicle Division at the Plymouth weigh station in eastern Washington.
“While we have many ranks and honors that we offer for exemplary service, the most coveted honor is to simply be respected by your colleagues as ‘a good troop,'” said State Patrol Chief John R. Batiste. “Ron Owens was most definitely a good troop.”
The Arkansas judge who supported Clemmons’ clemency, Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Marion Humphrey, also performed Clemmons’ wedding in 2004.
Both Harborview Medical Center and the University of Washington Medical Center are on high alert today because of the Lakewood shooting.
“We want people to be cognitive of their surroundings,” said Susan Gregg-Hanson, Harborview spokeswoman. “Everyone’s on the lookout. People need to be cautious.”
Both hospitals are fully functional and no other security measures are in effect.
Beacon Hill Elementary is on
lockdown in procedure known as “shelter in place,” according to Seattle Public Schools. The procedure is used when there’s a potential threat in the neighborhood, according to the district. (Updated, 12:26 p.m.: A clarification is necessary for this update. Beacon Hill Elementary is not on a lockdown, but one step below. Classes are ongoing.
Police appear to have cleared their search of the Beacon Hill area.
Police are currently searching an area commonly known as “The Jungle” near Dr. José Rizal Park.
The Lakewood Police Independent Guild, with words from Guild President Brian Wurts, pays tribute to the slain officers on its Web site. The Web site is understandably receiving a lot of traffic and is loading slowly at times or showing up unavailable. Reloading the site should work.
“As our Department weeps we know our brothers and sisters are in a place where people don’t come in a calm place and take your life because of the shield you wear or the basic oath we took. This will never make sense to us, it can’t. There will never be an explanation that works that will heal us. We can simply hope to take this senseless act of evil and turn it around to motivate our other officers, elected officials, and our entire community to keep make sure these parolees stay in prison and our communities stay safe. These predators who should be locked up commit the bulk of all of the crime against us. We will make sure your families are taken care of and do everything in our power to give your children a college education. God bless you Mark, Greg, Tina, and Ronnie boy. We cannot stop crying and we cannot stop hurting right now. WE love you all.”
More from the Lakewood police press conference:
About 100 officers were there, red eyed, tears running from their eyes.
“Our hearts were broken but our resolve was not,” said Lakewood city manager Andrew Neiditz. Added Mayor Doug Richardson, “This was an act of complete cowardice.”
Guild President Brian Wurts said money has been pouring in from around the world, and it’s being given to the families to help with college educations for their children. Donations are being accepted at the Lakewood Police Guild’s Web site.
“I’m angry this man was out on the street,” said Wurts.
The Forza Coffee Company is accepting donations for families of the slain officers via its Web site.
Lakewood Police Chief Bret Farrar just finished his press conference:
“We’re a young department. They were good people and we’ll miss them very much We will get through this but it is a very, very tough time for us and the families of our fallen officers. I met with the families yesterday; it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”
Farrar said he has “no doubt this person will be brought to justice.”
KING5.com will have a livestream of Lakewood Police Chief Bret Farrar’s news briefing. (Updated, 10:30 a.m.: Link dead.) (Updated, 11:27 a.m.: KING5.com has added a clip of the news conference.
Jim Brunner has more information on the events leading up to Maurice Clemmons’ clemency and parole. The parole documents are in the 8:14 a.m. update below.
Police activity at the University of Washington Medical Center has been called off as a result of a mistaken identity, police officials tell the Seattle Times.
Police cars are swarming the University of Washington hospital, according to Times staffers.
According to reports from Times staffers, police are searching in Dr. José Rizal Park in Beacon Hill. Meanwhile, Pacific Avenue near the University Hospital has been closed off.
Police appear to be clearing from the Leschi and U-District areas and headed toward Beacon Hill, according to Times staffers.
Lakewood Police Chief Bret Farrar will speak at a news conference this morning about the deaths of his four officers.
Seattle police are maintaining a huge presence in the Leschi area, suggesting the suspect may still be there. Sanjay Bhatt says Seattle PD is asking the public to call 911 if they see anything suspicious in the area or if people want their property checked.
Bhatt says K-9 units are searching the Leschi area.
The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department just sent out this release:
The suspect in the Lakewood police officer shooting, Maurice Clemmons, has a warrant for four counts of first degree murder. He has a gunshot wound and is armed. Suspect knows law enforcement is looking for him and should be considered dangerous. There is a $125,000 dollar reward for his arrest. The reward money was put up by the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigations), ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) and Crime Stoppers.
The University of Washington has posted its alert on its Web site.
“UW Police say the Lakeland shooting suspect might be in the university area. Expect more police presence in the district this morning. Police searched a Seattle neighborhood overnight but did not find the suspect, Maurice Clemmons. Prosecutors have charged him with four counts of aggravated first-degree murder in the death of four Lakeland police officers on Sunday, and a warrant has been issued for his arrest. Be alert and call 911 if you see the suspect.”
From Jim Brunner:
Documents just released by the Arkansas parole board show Lakewood police slaying suspect Maurice Clemmons successfully pleaded to Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee for release from prison in 2000 by claiming he’d committed his crimes as a teenager — and that he was now a different person after more than a decade in prison.
Clemmons wrote this in his clemency application to Huckabee:
“Where once stood a young 16 year old misguided fool, who’s (sic) own life he was unable to rule. Now stands a 27 year old man, who has learned through ‘the school of hard knocks’ to appreciate and respect the rights of others. And who has in the midst of the harsh reality of prison life developed the necessary skills to stand along (sic) and not follow a multitude to do evil, as I did as a 16 year old child.”
Clemmons’ plea was granted by Huckabee, who commuted his sentence in May of 2000. That made Clemmons — who faced decades in prison on robbery, theft and firearms charges, eligible for parole, and he was released from prison on August 1, 2000. He was later sent back to prison on a robbery charge but was released on parole again in 2004.
The University of Washington has sent out an alert that Maurice Clemmons might be in the University District. A witness reported seeing Clemmons get off a bus near the campus, according to university police spokesman Jerome Solomon.
Seattle police have a tip that Maurice Clemmons might be in the University District. More to come.
Leschi Elementary School has been closed today due to police activity in the area, according to a post on the Seattle Public Schools’ Web site.
A Seattle police SWAT team this morning swarmed a Leschi home surrounded overnight but did not find suspected cop killer Maurice Clemmons inside.