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PA Native among 4 Cops Assassinated in Washington State

As was their custom, four Lakewood, Washington police officers met at a local coffee house before their shift began, to exchange information, catch-up on paperwork and browse the internet. This morning, things went horribly wrong:

The officers – three male and one female – were in full uniform and wearing bulletproof vests, sitting in Forza coffee shop near 116th Street and Steele Street on the east side of the Air Force base at about 8:30 a.m., preparing for their shift when the suspect walked in, went up to the counter as if to order coffee, then turned and opened fire.

[Pierce county sheriff's spokesman Ed] Troyer called it an “ambush.”

“They had marked police cars, marked uniforms, there were other people inside the facility, they weren’t shot, wounded or hurt or even aimed at, just the police officers were,” said Troyer.

It wasn’t clear whether the officers even had time to draw their weapons to return fire, Troyer said.

“This was more of an execution. Walk in with the specific mindset to shoot police officers,” Troyer said.

NBC10 is reporting that one of the officers is a Pennsylvania native:

One of four Lakewood police officers shot and killed in an ambush at a coffee shop in Parkland, Washington Sunday morning was from the Lehigh Valley area, according to family members.

Officer Mark Renninger, 39, was born and raised in Bethlehem and went to Washington State because of his military service, according to his brother Michael Renninger

It’s believed that one of the officers may have had time to get a shot off and that the assailant may be wounded. Police have a suspect:

Pierce county sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said they are looking for Maurice Clemmons, 37.

Troyer said Clemmons has an extensive violent criminal history from Arkansas, including aggravated robbery and theft. He has also recently been arrested and charged in Pierce County for assault on a police officer and for rape of a child.

Officer Mark Renninger is survived by his wife, two daughters and a son. Donations for the officers’ families can be sent to: LPIG Benevolent Fund at PO Box 99579 Lakewood, WA 98499.

November 29, 2009 at 9:24 pm
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