Update 4:30 AM: A region-wide manhunt for the suspected killer of four Lakewood police officers finally came to an end Tuesday morning—not under the spotlights of police helicopters in a major police operation, but after an apparent chance encounter between a patrol officer and murder suspect Maurice Clemmons in South Seattle.
According to Assistant Seattle Police Chief Jim Pugel says a lone patrol officer spotted a stolen Acura left running in the 4400 block of S Kenyon this morning and began examining the vehicle. As he was doing so, Pugel says, Clemmons approached him from behind. The officer, a seven year veteran of the department, ordered Clemmons to stop and show his hands. Pugel says Clemmons ran. The officer fired several rounds, fatally wounding Clemmons.
Police say Clemmons was carrying a gun taken from one of the Lakewood police officers killed Sunday morning.
Pierce County Sheriff’s spokesman Det. Ed Troyer also spoke with the media Tuesday morning, and said police have arrested three people for “rendering criminal assistance” to Clemmons. Another person has also been detained who police believe helped Clemmons flee Parkland following Sunday’s shooting.
Over the next few days, Troyer expects police to arrest six or seven people for assisting Clemmons. “Some are friends, some are acquaintances, some are partners in crime, some are relatives,” Troyer said. “Now they’re all partners in crime.”
According to Troyer, family members provided Clemmons with cell phones and money and were attempting to get him out of the state. “They’re going to pay for it,” he said.
Troyer confirmed that Clemmons was shot by a Lakewood police officer who fought with Clemmons after he opened fire on officers on Sunday. Troyer says Clemmons was shot dead-center in the chest as police are trained. “I’m surprised he survived it,” Troyer said. “He got lucky. I’m surprised he managed to leave [Parkland] with that gunshot wound”
As far as motive, police continue to say that Clemmons was simply intent on killing police, something he told friends and family members the night before the shooting. “The only motive is he decided he was going to kill police officers,” Troyer says.
Update 7:40 PM: Police say Clemmons was not inside building on Renton Ave South. Multiple agencies still looking at at least one other location in the area.
Update 6:30 PM: Seattle police on their way to a second site in Renton. Seattle Times tweets that a relative of Clemmons has been arrested.
Update 5:25 PM: KOMO reports that a SWAT team has surrounded a home in the 13000 block of Renton Avenue South in connection with the Clemmons investigation. Seattle police have also been surveilling at least one person driving around the neighborhood.
The family of slain Seattle police officer, Timothy Brenton has released a statement in response to yesterday’s murders.
UPDATE 3:15 PM: Officers are responding to a report that a suspicious male ran into an apartment on 13th Ave. and South Lander St., just a few blocks south of Beacon Hill Elementary. NOTE: SPD says this was NOT related to the search for Clemmons.
Scanner chatter has died down a bit, though we’ll continue to post updates as we get them. In the meantime, here is a column about the political ramifications of Huckabee granting clemency to Clemmons, written by The New York Times’ Timothy Egan.
UPDATE 2:30 PM: We have no idea if this is authentic or not, but there is a Maurice Clemmons twitter account: http://twitter.com/mauriceclemmons.
UPDATE 2:10 PM: Police cars are leaving Cowen Park, but they are still patrolling the neighborhood.
UPDATE 1:44 PM: A man who was wearing body armor and packing a pistol showed up at Cowen Park. Police briefly detained the man, who has a concealed weapons permit, as it is apparently illegal for those not in law enforcement to possess such armor. We agree with the P-I’s Casey McNerthney when he tweeted: “Reports of man with body armor shows up at Cowen Park to help. He didn’t help.”
UPDATE @ 12:50 PM: Police near Cowen Place and Ravenna Blvd. have found a blood trail that begins at a King County Metro bus stop and leads off into Cowen Park.
UPDATE @ 12:30 p.m.: Police are forming a perimeter around Cowen Park and pushing gathered members of the media back from their positions. Apparently traces of blood were found in a bathroom in the park. Scanner chatter indicates police are closing off segments of Brooklyn Ave. in the U-Dist.- Ravenna area to pedestrians and car traffic.
Update @ 11:30 a.m.: Homicide detectives were called to examine a truck parked near UW’s Foster library. Police are now canvassing the SoDo area, just south of the Jungle, a homeless encampment in the woods on the north side of Beacon Hill.
Police are focusing on Maynard Ave S and S Dearborn Street, near the Jungle. Officers are calling K9 units to the scene. A witness apparently saw a suspicious person near that intersection around 11:15 a.m.
Twitterer (Tweeter?) GeneralGentry has put together a map of all the sites that have been the focus of major police action today:
Update 10:50 a.m.:Still nothing major to report. It looks like police didn’t find anyone in the Jungle on Beacon Hill. Police are still actively looking for Clemmons near UW.
The UW Medical Center and Harborview are both on a high security alert. Police believe Clemmons is seriously injured, and likely needs medical treatment.
Police did not find Maurice Clemmons—the suspect in the murder of four Lakewood police officers—anywhere near the home in Leschi last night, but did find some evidence he’d been there. Police around the city are now checking other possible locations. The University of Washington sent out an alert to student around 8:00 a.m. this morning:
“Lakeland shooting suspect may be in University area. Police responding. Be alert”
Police are getting reports of sightings all over the city, including one that just came in at 74th and Corliss. UW Police are also checking buildings on campus. At about 9:30, police put a classroom at UW under heavy surveillance and called more officers to the area. Police also set up a command post near the hospital and called in SWAT.
It seems like police are getting calls about possible suspects every few seconds. We’ll continue posting up-to-the-minute updates on Twitter.
More as this develops.