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4 Police murdered in 'ambush'
Police killed in 'ambush' outside US Air Force base

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Police said Maurice Clemmons was one of several people investigators want to talk to but that he could not be called a suspect at this point.

Four police officers were shot dead in a cold-blooded ambush at a coffee shop on the edge of a US Air Force base in Americaâ€s Pacific Northwest on Sunday.

The four uniformed officers, one of them a woman, were gunned down while working on their laptop computers as they prepared for work around 8:30am local time. They were all wearing bullet-proof vests and their marked patrol cars were parked outside.

The shooting took place at the Forza coffee shop, just across the street from the McChord Air Force Base outside Tacoma, Washington state, 35 miles south of Seattle.

The victims were identified as Sgt Mark Renninger, 39; Ronald Owens, 37; Tina Griswold, 40; and Greg Richards 42. All of the officers were married with children

Pierce County sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer said the officers had been specifically targeted, noting that staff and customers at the coffee shop had not been shot at. He said the suspected gunman “walked in with a handgun, opened fire multiple times and fled the scene".

"This was more of an execution. Walk in with the specific mindset to shoot police officers," he said.

According to Detective Troyer, two of the officers were “just flat executed” as they sat at the table writing reports, while another was killed as he stood up. A fourth officer bravely fought with the gunman before succumbing to his gunshot wounds.

“The fourth one fought his way out to the parking lot and fired off some rounds ... weâ€re hoping that the suspectâ€s hit.”

Detective Troyer said there is “no sense of motive” and people in the local area should be on the lookout for someone with a recent gunshot wound.

Around 200 officers from different agencies assisted in the search for the gunman, and road blocks were set up in the area as an intensive manhunt got underway. Officers took a police dog into a nearby apartment complex.

He said a man with an extensive criminal past — whose 95-year prison sentence was commuted in Arkansas nearly a decade ago — was being sought as a “person of interest” in the deadly ambush.

Detective Troyer told reporters that Maurice Clemmons, 37, was one of several people investigators want to talk to but that he could not be called a suspect at this point.

The sheriff's office said Clemmons has an extensive violent criminal history from Arkansas, including aggravated robbery and theft. Police said Clemmons also recently charged for assaulting a police officer and sexually assaulting a child.

The killings immediately stirred fears of a repeat of the shooting spree by Major Nidal Hasan, a Muslim who objected to fighting in Afghanistan, that killed 13 people at the US Army base at Fort Hood, Texas on November 5.

A spokesman at McChord Air Force Base said, however, that its 4,100 personnel had not been “locked down,” although perimeter security had been tightened.

The shootings came less than a month after a Seattle police officer, Timothy Brenton, was shot dead while sitting his patrol car on October 31.


I hope the scum responsible gets picked up quickly. RIP and condolences to the officers families, friends and colleagues.