Inside Opinion

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Tag: Kent Mundell

Jan.
4th

Let Deputy Mundell be the last

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

When the Lakewood’s four fallen police officers were memorialized on Dec. 8, few imagined there’d be a similar observance at the Tacoma Dome a scant four weeks later.

Today’s service for Pierce County Sheriff’s Deputy Kent Mundell is all the more poignant for honoring the sixth Puget Sound officer shot to death in the line of duty in less than two months. This shocking onslaught against law enforcement officers began Oct. 31 with the killing of Timothy Brenton of the Seattle Police Department and ended with Mundell’s shooting at a house near Tanwax Lake four days before Christmas.

Paradoxically, the number of police killed while on duty has been falling across the country. The 125 deaths recorded this year is the lowest toll in a half-century. But the six this region has seen since October account for a full 5 percent of that continent-wide 2009 death toll – an explosion of anti-police violence vastly out of proportion to the area’s, or even the state’s, population. We devoutly hope we’ve seen the end of such crimes.

Each of these deaths exacts a terrible price. Mundell the man was unique and irreplaceable. Consider some of the phrases his family, friends and fellow officers have used to describe him: “The guy was not just a friend, he was an experience” . . . “bigger than life” . . . “ever-sparkling smile” . . . “loved people” . . . “high-strung and hard-driven” . . . “funny as all hell.”
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Dec.
29th

Deputy is domestic violence’s collateral damage

This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.

It was the kind of call that law enforcement officers dread, but it is sadly all too common: a domestic.

One family member is hurting or threatening another, and someone calls 911. Emotions are running high, and alcohol or drugs may be involved. One or more of the parties may be armed.

Every call is a step into the unknown for those who respond.

Four days before Christmas, Pierce County Sheriff’s Deputy Kent Mundell and Sgt. Nick Hausner experienced every law enforcement officer’s nightmare: a domestic call turned very, very bad. They were trying to escort a “drunk and belligerent” man with a history of domestic violence from a family member’s home when he pulled out a gun and began shooting.
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Dec.
22nd

Once again, officers down

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

Angry man, violent history, gun. Once more that combination has produced a shocking attack on South Sound police officers who were just doing their job.

As of this writing, Kent Mundell – one of the two Pierce County deputies shot near Eatonville on Monday night – was in critical condition and clinging to life at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. The other, Sgt. Nick Hausner, was seriously wounded but expected to survive. Both are married with children.

The man who reportedly ambushed them, 35-year-old David E. Crable, may have gotten 10 shots off at very close range before being killed himself. Under the circumstances, it seems a miracle that both officers were still breathing – however badly wounded – when rescuers reached the scene. Stopping Crable while under a hail of bullets was a considerable achievement.

There is no good time for police officers to be shot, but the timing of this attack couldn’t have been more traumatic. It’s only been a few weeks since four Lakewood officers were surprised by a gunman and killed at a Parkland café. That wound hasn’t begun to heal. Now the horror of that atrocity has been revived and amplified by yet another vicious, senseless, homicidal attack on officers who were trying to protect the public.

In this case, Mundell and Hausner were shot on a domestic violence call, reportedly in the very act of protecting Crable’s brother and daughter from him. Like the professionals they are, they were working to defuse the situation; shortly before being shot, they had reportedly offered to end the dispute by driving Crable home. For their trouble, they got a pistol emptied at them.
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