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UPDATE: Police fatally shoot suspect in officer deaths

By The Associated Press

This article was originally published December 1, 2009 at 6:20 a.m. Updated December 1, 2009 at 3:03 p.m.


Sheriff's deputies look over a rifle they removed from a home where a suspect in the slaying of four police officers gunned down a day earlier was believed to have been, Monday.

Maurice Clemmons

Maurice Clemmons

— 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.

Thank you for coming to the Web site of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. We're working to keep you informed with the latest breaking news.

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.


Comments on: UPDATE: Police fatally shoot suspect in officer deaths

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HidyAphrodite says... December 1, 2009 at 7:18 a.m.

I suspected this guy's chance of surviving "capture" was iffy ... saving the tax payers lots of $$$ ...

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fjm347 says... December 1, 2009 at 7:23 a.m.

As a retired police officer, I would say
"" Justice Has Been Served ""

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charles_hillis says... December 1, 2009 at 7:49 a.m.

I agree with fjm347.

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HB4 says... December 1, 2009 at 9:08 a.m.

I'm against the death penalty but have a slight belief in karma......

.....looks like his came back pretty strong.

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boatgirlz says... December 1, 2009 at 9:16 a.m.

Okay, yes Huckabee was the first to put him back out there and he needs to man-up about it. But this man was also was arrested and released three times in Washington. What were they doing or not doing? Someone dropped the ball and now four police officers are dead.

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IdahoResident says... December 1, 2009 at 9:51 a.m.

No need to say thanks, Arkansas. But shame on you for dropping the warrant on Clemmons, which put him in the position to make bail, then kill 4 police officers. You dropped the warrant because you didn't want to deal with him anymore, and this allowed you to push him off on us here out west. Well, he's nobody's problem anymore, the Seattle PD make that a permanent promise. And to Mike Hucka-never-bee-president, time to own up, to man up to your utter failure in the pardon of this predatory animal. Or show us that you're no man at all, like you're doing right now.

Admit you did wrong, but no need to say thanks to Washington state for cleaning up your mess.

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SensibleInTheMiddle says... December 1, 2009 at 10:11 a.m.

Bottom line is that if your wonderful ex-governor @uckabee and the Arkansas legal system had done its job then this animal wouldn't have been on the streets.

Clemmons wrote a "I found God" letter and @uckabee let him out. He had served only 11 of over 100 years of his sentence! Life in prison? WTF??? First mistake.

Less than one year later he was arrested and convicted again in Arkansas for the same kind of violent crimes. He was paroled less than four years later. Second mistake.

He was arrested and held here in Washington this year on a No-Bail Warrant from Arkansas for parole violation. Arkansas dropped the no-bail warrant without explanation. It is likely that someone in Arkansas decided that they didn't want him back there...It was Washington's problem now.

It took Clemmons four months to beg and borrow the money to make the bail that was set for him. By law here in Washington a judge can only deny bail to persons accused of murder.

Bottom line, if @uckabee hadn't let him out, and if Arkansas' criminal justice system hadn't kept him where he had belonged, then nine children wouldn't have lost a parent and we here in Washington wouldn't have to be sweeping up the garbage from your system.

I wonder what the reaction would be if Clemmons had killed four Police Officers on a Sunday morning in a Little Rock coffee shop?

I hope @uckabee can explain to God why he made his decision nine years ago. He hasn't explained it to anyone else. He's too busy on his book tour.

Pissed in the Northwest...

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smdon says... December 1, 2009 at 10:34 a.m.

A lot of fingers can be pointed. The bottom line here is that four families have suffered a great tragedy. Huckabee was wrong for the clemency, but the ultimate responsibility lays in the hands of the shooter. The legal systems in both Washington and Arkansas have spent countless hours and money working on prosecution of this nutcase. We need to focus on how to prevent the same thing from happening again, whether it's here in Arkansas, there, or North Dakota, or Colorado, or anywhere else.

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kcjenkins says... December 1, 2009 at 11 a.m.

The most obvious question to me is, why was someone with that record paroled THE SECOND TIME after serving less than three years of a ten year sentence? Less than a year after being paroled the first time, he's convicted of the same type crime, AND has a warrant for another one pending, gets sentenced to 10 years, and the parole board grants him release after only three years? Why that second release on March 18, 2004? Is anyone focusing on the failures of the parole board, or is it just so much more fun to focus on our famous ex-gov?

Was there no consideration for the fact that he'd been out on parole when he committed the new crimes? It seems to me that the justice systems of both states have a problem when dealing with repeat offenders. Can't we somehow balance the rights of the criminals against the right of society to be protected from those who choose to live a life-style as a predator, preying on law-abiding citizens? Both the AR system and the WA system seem to have operated in a vacuum, treating each charge as if it were the only one, over and over.

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roydspann_aol-com says... December 1, 2009 at 11:04 a.m.

You know I have wondered why it never came out about president candidate Mike Huckabee and how he had pardoned other convicts. This is NOT the first convict, who was pardoned by Mike Huckabee, to revert back and murder someone. Does anyone remember Wayne Dumond? He too was charged with murdering someone in Missouri after Huckabee released him. Hurray for Larry Jegley coming forth and telling it like it is. Huckabee needs to take the heat for allowing these convicts out. It has been reported that Huckabee pardoned more convicts during his tenure than did 5 governors did during their 8 years. Thats pethetic Mike Huckabee.....put that on your news program...

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