Thursday, January 6, 2011 - Page updated at 03:30 PM

Lakewood Badges

The slaying of four Lakewood police officers

On the morning of Nov. 29, 2009 — the Sunday after Thanksgiving — four uniformed Lakewood police officers were fatally ambushed in a coffee shop outside of Tacoma. Over the next 40 hours, the region was gripped with fear, as the gunman — identified as ex-convict Maurice Clemmons — was at large, still armed and certainly dangerous.

Sergeant Mark Renninger, Officer Tina Griswold, Officer Ronald Owens, Officer Gregory Richards

By Tuesday morning, Clemmons was dead, killed by a Seattle police officer in a routine traffic investigation. The story continued to unfold in the pages of The Seattle Times and on, as the community mourned the loss of Sergeant Mark Renninger and officers Tina Griswold, Ronald Owens and Gregory Richards — and as more information emerged about the criminal path of Maurice Clemmons.

Winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting

Four officers shot; a suspect identified

Erika Schultz / The Seattle Times

Pierce County firefighters salute the procession that transported the bodies of four slain police officers from where they were killed in Parkland to the Pierce County Medical Examiner's Office in Tacoma. The procession includes police, fire and medical examiner's vehicles.

After 40-hour manhunt, gunman is killed


Officers respond Sunday night to a Leschi residence near 32nd and Yesler where suspect Maurice Clemmons was reportedly seen.


Police cars fill the street at the 4400 block of South Kenyon Street early Tuesday morning, Dec. 1, 2009.

Community mourns four fallen officers

Video | Thousands participated in a memorial service to mourn the loss of four Lakewood police officers.

Originally published December 1, 2009 at 9:44 PM

We will remember them always

There was biting cold and hours of waiting. There were mourners pouring in by the bus load, from Bozeman and Boston, Las Vegas and Lake Stevens. There was pain and sadness and anger. Yet at the memorial service for the four fallen Lakewood police officers held Tuesday at the Tacoma Dome, it was strikingly quiet.

Maurice Clemmons and the criminal-justice system
Originally published December 6, 2009 at 12:15 AM

A path to murder: The story of Maurice Clemmons

When Maurice Clemmons moved to the Northwest, he brought with him the demons of his Arkansas past. A week ago, he shot and killed four Lakewood police officers, a crime that has shattered families and generated such tension between Washington and Arkansas that both states' governors talked at length Thursday to lower the heat.

Pierce County Sheriff

Pierce County Sheriffs used two sets of hancuffs to restrain Maurice Clemmons after he went on an angry rampage in May, assaulting a neighbor and a police officer after breaking windows in numerous cars and buildings in his neighborhood.

Clemmons repeatedly slipped through the cracks

Did Maurice Clemmons, who assassinated four police officers last Sunday, live a crime-free life for the first five years he was in Washington? It's difficult to answer with certainty. But records from police, state corrections and federal law enforcement strongly suggest the answer is no.

Editorials, opinions and letters to the editor
Originally published December 2, 2009 at 4:17 PM

Civil Disagreement: Time to Clamp Down on Guns?

Civil disagreements, with Lynne Varner and Bruce Ramsey of the Seattle Times editorial board, is a weekly feature of the Ed Cetera blog. Here Lynne and Bruce debate gun control laws in the wake of the shooting deaths of four Lakewood, Wa. police officers and a month earlier, a Seattle Police Officer.

Originally published December 3, 2009 at 3:58 PM

Letters to the Editor: Clemmons case, manhunt reinforces racial profiling

There is justice to be served, grief to be processed, anger to be vented. Unfortunately, this incident is being used by some to justify their racist ideology ["Manhunt creates unease for black men," News, Dec. 1], rather than to question a criminal-justice system that obviously needs fixing.

Continuing coverage: the community and the legal aftermath
November - December 2009
Originally published November 30, 2009 at 10:48 PM

Political death blow for Huckabee?

As governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee had a hand in pardoning or commuting many more prisoners than his three immediate predecessors combined. Maurice Clemmons, the suspect in Sunday's slayings of four Seattle-area police officers, was among them.


Mike Huckabee, one of the Republican Party's most popular figures, is seen as Arkansas governor. Nine years ago he commuted the prison sentence of Maurice Clemmons.

January - April 2010
Originally published January 18, 2010 at 9:33 PM

Families of slain Wash. officers plead for changes

In emotional testimony Monday night, family members of four slain Lakewood police officers asked lawmakers in Olympia to make changes to a system they say failed their loved ones.

February 13, 2010

Clemmons' jail tapes reveal vow to kill

The man who fatally shot four Lakewood police officers described his deadly intentions over and over in conversations with his wife and others.

In print

View PDFs from the Times print edition from the week of the Lakewood Police shootings.