SEATTLE The man suspected of gunning down four police officers in a suburban coffee shop was shot and killed by a lone patrolman investigating a stolen car early Tuesday. Four people were arrested for allegedly helping the suspect elude authorities during a massive two-day manhunt.
Maurice Clemmons was carrying a handgun he took from one of the dead officers when a Seattle policeman recognized him near a stolen car in a working-class south Seattle neighborhood about 2:45 a.m., Assistant Police Chief Jim Pugel said.
The vehicle was running but unoccupied when the officer pulled up, radioed in the license plate number and realized the car was stolen, Pugel said.
The officer saw something moving, got out of his car, saw Clemmons and ordered him to show his hands and stop.
“He wouldn’t stop,” Pugel said. “The officer fired several rounds.”
Clemmons also had sustained a serious gunshot wound from one of the four officers killed in the coffee-shop shooting.
Police planned to arrest more people who helped Clemmons.
“We expect to have maybe six or seven people in custody by the day’s end,” said Ed Troyer, a spokesman for the Pierce County sheriff. “Some are friends, some are acquaintances, some are partners in crime, some are relatives. Now they’re all partners in crime.”
Three people were booked into the Pierce County Jail on Monday and early Tuesday for investigation of rendering criminal assistance on four counts of first-degree murder. They are Ricky Hinton, Eddie Lee Davis and Douglas Edward Davis. Troyer said a getaway driver also was arrested. That person’s identity wasn’t immediately known.
Troyer says Seattle police found Clemmons after Pierce County authorities supplied addresses of possible hiding spots.
Authorities say Clemmons, 37, singled out the Lakewood officers and spared employees and other customers at the coffee shop Sunday morning in Parkland, a Tacoma suburb about 35 miles south of Seattle. He then fled, but not before one of the dying officers apparently shot him in the torso.
Clemmons was allowed to walk the streets despite a teenage crime rampage in Arkansas that landed him an 108-year prison sentence. He was released early after then-Gov. Mike Huckabee commuted his sentence.
Huckabee cited Clemmons’ youth in granting the request. But Clemmons quickly reverted to his criminal past, violated his parole and was returned to prison. He was released again in 2004.
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Huckabee said on Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor” Monday night that Clemmons was allowed back on the street because prosecutors failed to file paperwork in time.
Pulaski County Prosecutor Larry Jegley, whose office opposed Clemmons’ parole in 2000 and 2004, said Huckabee’s comments were “red herrings.”
“My word to Mr. Huckabee is man up and own what you did,” Jegley said.
A psychological evaluation conducted in October found he was a risk to public safety, but not a bad enough risk to justify committing him, The News Tribune of Tacoma reported.
The confidential report acquired by the newspaper was ordered by a Pierce County Superior Court judge to determine whether Clemmons was competent to stand trial on the rape and assault charges. He was found competent and was released from jail after posting bail with the assistance of Jail Sucks Bail Bonds.
At the time of his arrest, he allegedly made “religiously-themed comments, told the officer President Obama and Lebron James are his brothers, Oprah (Winfrey) is his sister and referred to himself as ’the beast,”’ according to the evaluation.