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Originally published November 29, 2009 at 10:19 PM | Page modified December 1, 2009 at 7:50 AM

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Police conducting several "tactical operations" now in search for shooting suspect

Police tonight are searching a house in Renton, one of a number of locations where they're looking for clues in the hunt for suspected cop-killer Maurice Clemmons.

Reward information

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 $145,000 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.

Coverage from the days following the Lakewood shootings

Tuesday memorial to four officers comes together swiftly

Lakewood Officer Tina Griswold was a 'ball of fire' in a tiny package

A path to murder: The story of Maurice Clemmons

Gallery | Maurice Clemmons: Path to Murder

Officer Gregory Richards was 'the golden boy'

Officer Richards' wife knew he would do his duty, no matter what

Lakewood Police Officer Ronald Owens was always smiling

Prosecutors want Clemmons' sister held in custody

Clemmons' sister taken into custody in courtroom

Clemmons repeatedly slipped through the cracks

Bank accounts may be sign Clemmons planned getaway

Lakewood Police Sgt. Mark Renninger was devoted to family, dedicated to police work

Bail-bond agents gamble on unknown

Clemmons' sister arrested during court hearing

Repeat offenders would be denied bail under measure

Nicole Brodeur | Help is coming for aunt

Clemmons traveled to meet New York minister, citing God's instructions

Clemmons' half-brother charged with helping killer elude police

Clemmons investigated by drug enforcement authorities after he moved here in 2004

More than 20,000 people expected at Tuesday's memorial for officers

Arkansas governor and Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire confer on parolees, Clemmons

Coffee shop where officers killed remains closed

Details on Tuesday memorial for four slain officers

Trusted aunt chose to do the 'right thing'

Clemmons' driver denies knowledge of plot to kill

Over 2,000 attend Lakewood vigil for 4 slain officers

Graham neighborhood embraces grieving family

Alleged accomplice used an alias

Coffee shop where officers killed remains closed

Who leaked photo of Clemmons' body? Investigations launched

Clemmons couldn't be held after 'safety net' dissolved

Calendar of memorials and vigils for slain Lakewood officers

Loyal friends, family helped Clemmons flee police

Gregoire: no more Arkansas parolees

Alleged getaway driver in officers' slaying could face murder charges

Uncle: 'He was all about money ... suddenly, he was all about God'

Routine stolen-car check led to Lakewood police-slaying suspect

Danny Westneat | Fixing blame won't fix this mess

Jerry Large | Answers more than skin deep

Public brings flowers, candles, prayers for fallen officers

E-mails show Washington state battled to keep Clemmons in custody

States at odds over warrant that might have kept Clemmons in jail

2 men charged, several others suspected of aiding alleged cop killer

Lakewood police shooting suspect shot dead by police in South Seattle early this morning

Memorial for slain officers to be next Tuesday at Tacoma Dome

Outpouring of support for families of slain officers grows

Four days in May set stage for Sunday's tragedy

Clemmons' diagnosis: stress

Persuasive appeal helped Clemmons win clemency

Political death blow for Huckabee?

How you can help

Law-enforcement officials believe Clemmons has been sheltered by family, friends

Attack on Lakewood police likely worst in state history

Slain Lakewood officers leave holes in community fabric

Furious hunt for suspect in Lakewood police slayings creates unease for black men

Grief, gratitude for slain officers

'Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom': Neighbors describe shooting of suspect

Nicole Brodeur: Breathless in Leschi — and it's not the view

RAW VIDEO: Scene where Clemmons shot by police

AUDIO | Suspect killed in Seattle

Interactive map and timeline

See the latest tweets on #WAshooting, #lakeshoot and #WAshoot

Gallery | Maurice Clemmons Killed, Community Mourns Slain Officers

Gallery | Ceda Clemmons' Damaged Home

Monday coverage

Suspect released in Arkansas after claiming he had changed

Gallery | Police search for suspected cop killer

Gallery | Lakewood police officers killed

Video | Community reflects on slain police

Video | Police shooting: Man who helped baristas

Video | SPD Det. Jeff Kappel speaks about 11-hour standoff

Brenton family statement on slain Lakewood officers

Latest on Lakewood shooting: Police searching near Dr. José Rizal Park

Police still searching for suspected cop killer

Sunday coverage

Police union sets up fund for slain officers

Former Arkansas Gov. Huckabee has controversial record of freeing criminals

Lakewood Police Department created just 5 years ago

Police again see themselves as targets

Slain officers respected for careers, family life

Lakewood police slayings appear to be worst of their kind in state history

Shocked, grieving community holds vigil for officers

Coffee house owner: Shootings 'hit close to home'

Maurice Clemmons clemency and parole documents (PDF)

Statement from Mayor Douglas Richardson and City Manager Andrew Neiditz (PDF)

City of Lakewood identifies officers (PDF)

Related links

Law justifying use of deadly force

Facebook page honoring fallen officers | Eyewitness accounts

Video | Pierce County sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer discusses Lakewood slaying

Suspect description

Police are searching for a person of interest, Maurice Clemmons, a 37-year-old black male from the Parkland area of Pierce County.

Clemmons is 5'8" tall, 235 lbs., with black hair, brown eyes, and a mole on his left cheek.

Clemmons has extensive violent criminal history from Arkansas, including aggravated robbery and theft. He has also recently been arrested and charged in Pierce County for Assault 3rd on a Police Officer and for Rape of a Child.

Clemmons should be considered armed and extremely dangerous, according to the Pierce County Sheriff's office. If the public has any information on his whereabouts, call any tips to the Sheriff's Department tip line at 1-866-977-2362.

KING5 | Person of interest' in Lakewood police slayings may be located

Video | Community reflects on slain police

Video | Police shooting: Man who helped baristas

Police were searching a house in the Renton area Monday night, one of several "tactical operations" they're conducting in their hunt for suspected cop-killer Maurice Clemmons.

A relative of Clemmons who lives at the house on Renton Avenue South near South 130th Street was taken into custody, but authorities are still looking for Clemmons, according to a law enforcement source.

The relative is believed to have helped Clemmons elude capture, the source said.

Clemmons has been getting help and shelter from friends and relatives since shortly after the Sunday morning shooting deaths of four Lakewood police officers, authorities have concluded.

Pierce County sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer briefed media from a church parking lot near the Renton house on Monday night, saying that he didn't know of any arrests but that several "relatives and/or aquaintances" were being questioned. Troyer said police did not believe Clemmons was in the house.

The search of the Renton house was the fourth tactical operation conducted by police, Troyer said Authorities were executing several search warrants, he said. He did not elaborate on the other operations.

Around 7:30 p.m. Monday, officers threw flash-bangs at the bottom of a door on the first floor of the house. The devices are intended to momentarily stun or blind a person. The officers then entered the the two-story white wood-frame house. Outside, neighbors gathered and watched the operation. Police were still inside the house around 8:30 p.m.

Troyer said police believe Clemmons' relatives or acquaintances have misled authorities regarding his whereabouts.

"We know it's not just him we're looking for now. It's other people helping him do this," Troyer said. "If they are going to impede our investigation then they become a part of the investigation."

Also frustrating to law-enforcement officers is that Clemmons reportedly 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, said Sheri Badger, another Pierce County spokesperson.

The hunt for Clemmons has stretched deep into its second day, frustrating police as they chase lead after lead across two counties.


A murder warrant has been issued for Clemmons, and officers thought they had him Clemmons surrounded in a Leschi home late Sunday. But when a SWAT team finally went in at 7 a.m. Monday, the house was empty.

Authorities have since confirmed that Clemmons was in the Leschi area Sunday night, though it isn't clear how he escaped or where he went, a source said.

Since then, officers have crisscrossed Seattle, chasing down alleged sightings and blood trails. Clemmons was shot and perhaps seriously wounded by one of the slain officers Sunday morning, Troyer said.

Shortly after noon, notice went out for officers to be on the lookout for a green 1997 Mazda Millenia that had been registered to Clemmons' wife, Nicole Cheryleen Smith. They said the car might be headed toward Arkansas, where Maurice Clemmons once lived.

Washington State Patrol trooper Cliff Pratt said every trooper had been alerted to look for the car, and that troopers were watching all major exits from the state.

He said they were also watching train and bus stations, and other transportation hubs.

About 1 p.m., six officers in SWAT gear pulled up to Smith's Tacoma home and four went inside, escorted by a young man who pulled up in a silver Honda.

But a few hours later they were told they could stop looking for the car. It was found, and had been sold two months ago.

In Seattle, police have followed clues that led them to the University of Washington, Beacon Hill, Ravenna, the International District and Leschi. So far, none have panned out.

"We're responding to citizen calls," Seattle police Sgt. Don Smith said.

At 2 p.m., officers were just leaving Cowen Park in Ravenna, where a trail of fresh blood had been reported about noon.

Not long before, officers had closed off a street and at least one building near Maynard Avenue South and South Dearborn Street, after bloody gauze was found in the street.

Before that, officers had raced to Jose Rizal Park in Beacon Hill after someone reported seeing Clemmons there. By 10:30, officers had walked the park with police dogs and were confident Clemmons wasn't there.

Earlier Monday, police swarmed to the University of Washington after someone reported seeing Clemmons getting off a Metro bus at the campus. That search led officers to near the UW Medical Center and apparently into a classroom, but Clemmons wasn't there.

There is a $145,000 reward for information leading to Clemmons' capture.

Police know that Clemmons was wounded because of information they obtained from people who helped Clemmons after the shootings.

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.

Lt. Dave McDonald of the Puyallup Police Department said Monday 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 where the four Lakewood officers were slain. 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 found blood in his white Chevrolet pickup, which was found Sunday in a supermarket parking lot in Parkland. They also have eyewitness statements placing Clemmons in Leschi Sunday night.

Investigators have no indication that Clemmons had a motive aimed specifically at any of the individual officers who were gunned down, Troyer said.

"He was upset about being incarcerated," Troyer said. "He was just targeting cops."

On Sunday evening, SWAT teams and police negotiators had surrounded the Leschi house at East Yesler Way and 32nd Avenue South based on tips given to police. A woman who was leaving the home was stopped by officers and told them Clemmons was on the property and bleeding.

The woman told police that someone had dropped Clemmons off at his aunt's home, on East Superior Street.

Around 12:10 a.m. Monday, a King County sheriff's armored vehicle was brought to the Leschi home, which was by then bathed in bright lights. Police began using loudspeakers, asking whoever was inside to call 911.

Police yelled over the loudspeakers, "Mr. Clemmons we want to minimize the situation."

Hours later, police concluded that while Clemmons had been to the house, he had not gone inside.

The series of events leading up to the standoff at house in Leschi and the searches since then began more than 16 hours earlier at an upscale coffee shop in Parkland, Pierce County. The coffee shop was a hangout for officers that became the scene of the deadliest attack on law enforcement in state history.

The four officers were shot and killed at 8:15 a.m. Sunday as they worked on their laptops at Forza Coffee Company in Parkland. The first two officers were "flat-out executed," while the third tried to stop the gunman and the fourth fired at him, Troyer said.

Those killed were identified as Sgt. Mark Renninger, 39, and officers Ronald Owens, 37, Tina Griswold, 40, and Gregory Richards, 42.

Clemmons has a long criminal record in Arkansas and Washington. He was released from custody in Pierce County just a week ago, and was facing a charge of raping a child. Family members described him as being in a state of mental deterioration. Last spring, he was also accused of punching a sheriff's deputy in the face.

Sunday's shootings came as officers from across the state were still coming to terms with last month's ambush-slaying of Seattle police Officer Timothy Brenton. The two incidents do not appear related, police said.

Seattle Times staff reporters Sara Jean Green, Mike Carter, Steve Miletich, Jonathan Martin, Nick Perry, Bob Young, Jennifer Sullivan and Christine Clarridge and news researchers Miyoko Wolf and Gene Balk contributed to this report.

Nick Perry: 206-515-5639 or

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