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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