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Originally published December 9, 2009 at 12:10 AM | Page modified December 9, 2009 at 1:16 AM

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The four fallen Lakewood officers

Short biographies of Sgt. Mark Renninger, Officer Ronald Owens, Officer Tina Griswold and Officer Gregory Richards.

How to help

THE LAKEWOOD Police Independent Guild is accepting donations for the families of the four slain police officers. Checks can be made to the LPIG Benevolent Fund and sent to P.O. Box 99579, Lakewood, WA 98499. Donations also can be made online at


Sgt. Mark Renninger

Sgt. Mark Renninger, 39, was a former Army Ranger, a nationally known SWAT team trainer and the rock of his department. He was also a devoted family man who was raising three children with his wife.

Sgt. Renninger grew up in Bethlehem, Pa., where he was a star high-school football player. After the Army, he joined the Tukwila Police Department in 1996 and moved to the Lakewood force in 2004.

He was in charge of the interjurisdictional Metro SWAT team and a member of the Washington State Tactical Officers Association's executive board. His family and fellow officers said he had a wonderful sense of humor and a talent for police work.


Ronald Owens

Officer Ronald Owens, 37, was a second-generation police officer, a former state trooper and the loving father of a 7-year-old daughter.

Officer Owens grew up in Pierce County, excelling in basketball and baseball. He was hired by the State Patrol in 1997 and joined the Lakewood police in 2004.

Fellow officers said he always smiled, never let police work get him down and treated all with respect. They said he was a trustworthy friend and a hard worker, whether helping to process evidence or helping to change a motorist's tire.


Tina Griswold

Although she stood just 4 feet, 11 inches tall, Officer Tina Griswold, 40, impressed colleagues over a 14-year career in law enforcement as a tough cop willing to go into any situation.

Officer Griswold joined the Shelton Police Department in 1995 and in 1999 moved to Lacey, where she became the only woman to serve on the force's tactical squad and to complete SWAT training.

A wife and mother of two, Officer Griswold was recruited to Lakewood's new police department in 2004. She spent four years as a school resource officer. One teacher said that Officer Griswold showed students that a small person can do a big job.


Gregory Richards

Officer Gregory Richards, 42, was the glass-half-full guy, the one who saw the better view of any situation, said his widow, Kelly.

Born in Lynwood, Calif., he began playing the drums at age 8, developing what would become a lifelong passion for music. He played drums in a police rock band.

He enlisted in the Army in 1985, and served until 1989. Officer Richards hired on at the Kent Police Department in 2001, and joined the Lakewood force in 2004. A father of three, his friends said he was family man first and a cop second.

It was Officer Richards who got off the shot that wounded shooter Maurice Clemmons.

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