Manhunt continues for suspect in officer slayings

SEATTLE — Authorities believe the man sought in the slaying of four police officers is still alive and has been aided by a network of friends and family, a police spokesman said Monday night.

SEATTLE — Authorities believe the man sought in the slaying of four police officers is still alive and has been aided by a network of friends and family, a police spokesman said Monday night.

Officers believe Maurice Clemmons was shot in the abdomen during the attack on the officers at a Parkland coffee shop, and had speculated he might have died.

But Ed Troyer, a spokesman for the Pierce County Sheriff, said investigators have questioned several people who had provided assistance to Clemmons since the Sunday morning shootings.

“We think his network of people helping him is running out.” Troyer said. “He’s probably on his own.”

Police are also certain Clemmons, 37, was in a Seattle house on Sunday night, but was able to flee before police could contain the area. Police staked out the house overnight before SWAT team members determined early Monday that Clemmons wasn’t there.

Clemmons has had access to handguns, rifles and shotguns, Troyer said.

“It’s unfortunate he’s been a step or two ahead of us.”

Monday morning’s realization that the suspect had not been cornered after all prompted police to fan out across the city, looking for any sign of Clemmons.

Authorities posted a $125,000 reward for information leading to his arrest in the Sunday morning shooting rampage.

The manhunt came as authorities in two states took heat for the fact that Clemmons was allowed to walk the streets despite a teenage crime spree in Arkansas that landed him a 95-year prison sentence.

He was released early after then-Gov. Mike Huckabee commuted his sentence.

“This guy should have never been on the street,” said Brian D. Wurts, president of the police union in Lakewood, where all four slain officers worked. “Our elected officials need to find out why these people are out.”

Police said they are not sure what prompted Clemmons to assassinate the officers as they worked on their laptop computers at the beginning of their shifts. He was described as increasingly erratic in the past few months and had been arrested earlier this year on charges that he punched a sheriff’s deputy in the face.

Sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer told the Tacoma News-Tribune that Clemmons indicated the night before the shooting “that he was going to shoot police and watch the news.”

Authorities said the gunman singled out the officers and spared employees and other customers at the coffee shop in a suburb about 35 miles south of Seattle.

He then fled, but not before he was apparently shot in the torso by one of the dying officers.

Police later learned he may have been holed up at the house in Seattle. After an all-night siege in which they tried to get him out using loudspeakers, explosions and a robot sent into the house, a SWAT team stormed the place and discovered he was not there.

Police spent the rest of the day frantically chasing leads, visiting hundreds of locations as they followed up on tips, at one point cordoning off a park where people thought they saw Clemmons. They also alerted hospitals to be on the lookout for a man seeking treatment for gunshot wounds.

University of Washington officials alerted students by e-mail and text messages to an unconfirmed report that Clemmons might have gotten off a bus on or near the campus.

Investigators also examined the coffee shop for clues. Sheriff’s spokesman Lt. Dave McDonald said that authorities found a handgun carried by the killer, along with a pickup truck belonging to the suspect with blood stains inside.

Killed were Sgt. Mark Renninger, 39, and Officers Ronald Owens, 37, Tina Griswold, 40, and Greg Richards, 42.

Clemmons has an extensive violent criminal history from Arkansas.

On Sunday, Huckabee issued this statement on his Web site: “Should he be found to be responsible for this horrible tragedy, it will be the result of a series of failures in the criminal justice system in both Arkansas and Washington state.”

In seeking leniency from Huckabee, Clemmons wrote the parole board that he was a “misguided fool” when he committed the crimes and “learned through the school of hard knocks to appreciate and respect the rights of others.”

Huckabee cited Clemmons’ youth in granting the request. But Clemmons quickly reverted to his criminal past, violated his parole and was returned to prison. He was released again in 2004.

Clemmons was charged in Washington state earlier this year with assaulting a police officer and raping a child, and investigators in the sex case said he was motivated by visions that he was Jesus Christ and that the world was on the verge of the apocalypse. But he was released from jail after posting bail with the assistance of Jail Sucks Bail Bonds.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre's expansion project is still a high priority, says Alberta Infrastructure Minister Prasad Panda. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Red Deer hospital ICU admissions stable, says surgeon

The Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre’s intensive care unit is in better… Continue reading

Alberta recorded a single-day record of over 57,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered. (Photo courtesy Alberta Health Services Twitter)
Alberta hits daily record of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered

Central zone has administered 111,735 doses of the COVID-19

Alberta reported an additional 1,980 cases of COVID-19 Friday. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Red Deer adds 37th death from COVID-19, active cases drop

Alberta Health identified an additional 1,980 cases of the virus province-wide

A rodeo south of Bowden drew a huge crowd on May 1 and 2, 2021. (Photo courtesy Mom’s Diner’s Facebook page)
FILE - A firefighter wears a mask as he drives his truck. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward, File
VIDEO: Flames rip through Edmonton-area seniors complex, but no fatalities

ST. ALBERT, Alta. — Fire has destroyed part of a retirement complex… Continue reading

Jennifer Coffman, owner of Truffle Pigs in Field, B.C., poses beside her business sign on Thursday, May 6, 2021, in this handout photo. Her restaurant and lodge have been hit hard by a closure of a section of the Trans-Canada Highway and by the British Columbia government discouraging Alberta residents from visiting during the pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Jennifer Coffman, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘Why we survive’: B.C. boundary towns struggle without Albertans during pandemic

Jennifer Coffman didn’t expect to get hit with a double whammy at… Continue reading

A courtroom at the Edmonton Law Courts building, in Edmonton on Friday, June 28, 2019. The effect of the coronavirus pandemic will have a lasting impact on the Canadian justice system warn a number of legal experts. The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench announced Sunday it would adjourn all scheduled trials across the province for at least 10-weeks limiting hearings to only emergency or urgent matters. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton mother found guilty of manslaughter in death of five-year-old girl

EDMONTON — An Edmonton woman was found guilty Friday of manslaughter in… Continue reading

A Statistics Canada 2016 Census mailer sits on the key board of a laptop after arriving in the mail at a residence in Ottawa, May 2, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Statistics Canada sees more demand to fill out census online during pandemic

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says the response to the census is higher… Continue reading

Travellers, who are not affected by new quarantine rules, arrive at Terminal 3 at Pearson Airport in Toronto, Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. Ottawa will create a new digital platform to help in processing immigration applications more quickly and efficiently after COVID-19 pandemic underscored the need for a faster shift to a digital immigration system, the immigration department said. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ottawa to create new system to tackle delays in processing immigration applications

Ottawa says it will create a new digital platform to help process… Continue reading

A man on a skateboard and a young woman pass large letters spelling out UBC at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver on November 22, 2015. The federal government is writing off more than $200 million in outstanding student loan payments that officials will never be able to collect. Recently released spending documents show the government won't collect $203.5 million in debts from 34,240 students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. Human Rights Tribunal to hear complaint against UBC Okanagan

VANCOUVER — A B.C. Human Rights Tribunal hearing is set to start… Continue reading

In this file photo, a lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018. (By THE CANADIAN PRESS)
No winning ticket for Friday’s $25 million Lotto max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $25 million jackpot… Continue reading

FILE - In this April 19, 2021, file photo, Keidy Ventura, 17, receives her first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in West New York, N.J. States across the country are dramatically scaling back their COVID-19 vaccine orders as interest in the shots wanes, putting the goal of herd immunity further out of reach. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
States scale back vaccine orders as interest in shots wanes

MADISON, Wis. — States asked the federal government this week to withhold… Continue reading

Toronto FC coach Chris Armas talks with his players during a CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal second leg soccer match against Mexico's Cruz Azul at Azteca stadium in Mexico City, Tuesday, May 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Fernando Llano
Toronto FC coach Chris Armas returns to Red Bull Arena to face former team

Toronto FC coach Chris Armas returns to Red Bull Arena to face former team

Most Read