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Prosecutor gives first details of crime scene

Post by Peter Callaghan / The News Tribune on Dec. 1, 2009 at 2:22 pm with 6 Comments »
December 1, 2009 2:25 pm

In a probable cause statement used to arrest two men for helping Maurice Clemmons flee Sunday, Pierce County prosecutors describe what they know of the details of the shooting.

Interviews with the two employees of the Forza coffee shop in Parkland as well as evidence gathered at the scene described these events:

One of the employees said she greeted a black male as he entered the store. She said he had a blank look on his face. He walked into the store and when he got near where the four officers were sitting he pulled out a gun and started shooting.

The two employees ran out a back door, got into a car and drove off. As they left they said they passed the front of the business and saw the black male “struggling” or “wrestling” with one of the officers in the doorway.

The two employees stopped near the intersection of 112th and Steele streets and borrowed a cell phone to call 911. While there they saw a man who looked like the gunman walking toward a white pick up truck parked at a car wash. He got in and the truck left at a high rate of speed.

The Pierce County Medical Examiners office reported that Lakewood Police Sgt. Mark Renninger, Officer Tina Griswold and Officer Greg Richards died of wounds to the head. Officer Ronnie Owens died of a wound to the neck.

Investigators found two handguns at the scene – a .38 caliber revolver with six spent shell casings and a 9 mm handgun. There was one spent 9 mm shell casing found at the scene. Investigators also found two spent shell casings from a .40 caliber Glock handgun. That gun, associated with one of the officers, was not found. (Detectives have since said they found the gun with Clemmons when he was killed early today.)

The declaration also shows how investigators first suspected Clemmons of the crime. The white pickup that the Forza employees described as the getaway vehicle was found abandoned nearby. The truck was registered to a business at a residence owned by Clemmons.

Police officers created a montage of six photos including one of Clemmons. One of the employees identified the photo of Clemmons as looking like the shooter. One a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being very certain, the employee said her confidence level was a 7.

The other employee could not identify any of those in the photos.

Leave a comment Comments → 6
  1. Excellent. I’d been wondering who spotted and reported the white truck. Reckon that I’d be nervous to the job were I one of those employees though. Clemmons has too many connections.

  2. Tuffgal74 says:

    Those Forza employees should receive the reward $! Good on them!

  3. Total agreement with Gussie and Tuffgal74. Good work paying attention, Forza employees!

  4. SteveTanglewood says:

    Yes, excellent actions by the Forza employees. They did exactly as they were trained to do in an extremely dangerous situation. And by the sound of it they were instrumental in pointing the investigation in the right direction.

    We are very proud of them.

  5. a job well done ,forza employees! you did exactly what you were trained to do and with quick actions in helping the investigation.my heart goes out to you and your family and pray that you get thru this trying times.

    GOD BLESS YOU!!

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