Here is new information since the last report on Wizbang. Living in the Seattle area, I’ve been glued to this page, the Lights and Sirens blog of the Tacoma News Tribune in Tacoma, WA for the most up to date information. The perpetrator is still on the loose. My son at the University of Washington received a text message earlier today that Maurice Clemmons was seen getting off a bus near the University Medical Center at 7:00 am this morning.
And there is a Willie Horton aspect to the story, as this guy was once in jail in Arkansas. According to the Seattle Times:
Documents released this morning by the Arkansas Parole Board show police slaying suspect Maurice Clemmons was supposed to remain in prison there until at least 2015, but won his release by claiming he’d changed while behind bars.
Clemmons’ appeal for clemency was granted in May 2000 by then-Gov. Mike Huckabee, who commuted Clemmons sentence and made him immediately eligible for parole.
Clemmons wrote in an appeal to Huckabee that he’d been sent to prison after an extended crime spree that started in 1989 when he was a teenager — and that he was a different person now.Mike Huckabeee put out this message to respond:
“The senseless and savage execution of police officers in Washington State has saddened the nation, and early reports indicate that a person of interest is a repeat offender who once lived in Arkansas and was wanted on outstanding warrants here and Washington State. The murder of any individual is profound tragedy, but the murder of a police officer is the worst of all murders in that it is an assault on every citizen and the laws we live within.
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. He was recommended for and received a commutation of his original sentence from 1990, making him parole eligible and was paroled by the parole board once they determined he met the conditions at that time. He was arrested later for parole violation and taken back to prison to serve his full term, but prosecutors dropped the charges that would have held him. It appears that he has continued to have a string of criminal and psychotic behavior but was not kept incarcerated by either state. This is a horrible and tragic event and if found and convicted the offender should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. Our thoughts and prayers are and should be with the families of those honorable, brave, and heroic police officers.”
The victims have been identified:
The perp still at large:
CNN is reporting that he thought he was Jesus and could fly:
In recent months, Clemmons has displayed increasingly erratic behavior, the Seattle Times reported. In May, he punched a sheriff’s deputy in the face, the paper said.
In another incident, he had relatives undress, telling them families need to be “naked for at least five minutes on Sunday,” the newspaper said, citing a sheriff’s department incident report.
Clemmons also believed he was Jesus and could fly, a deputy wrote, based on conversations with family members.
Lakewood Police Chief press conference Monday morning.
Live scanner radio of Seattle Police Department. They are closing off Cowen Park north of the University where a trail of blood was found and they think the suspect may be hiding. Some quote:
A lot of liquid blood here.
We’re going to do the whole park on foot.
Starting to sweep park from West to East @ 1:00 pm PST
Police have left the scene @2:00 pm, now looking for wife’s car, per twitter:
Police searching for green ’97 Mazda Millenia w/ WA license plate 208-SSX. Reg’d to Clemmons’ wife.
Police no longer looking for this car, since it was sold 2 months ago. Ok.
Now they are looking in “The Jungle”, a hilly, overgrown area just East of I-5 at 13th and Lander, well known as an area frequented by the homeless.
Now setting up containment near 13th and Lander, where police reporting shoeprints leading towards a house with an open door. Following #WAShooting on twitter now.
Final update: They got him. From Seattle Crime Report:
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.
Assistant police chief Jim Pugel says a lone patrol officer spotted a stolen vehicle 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.
According to police, Clemmons was carrying a gun taken from one of the Lakewood police officers killed Sunday morning.