SWAT teams have surrounded a Seattle, Washington area house where a suspect who gunned down 4 Seattle police officers execution style is believed to be holed up inside.
Police say Maurice Clemmons, 37, of Tacoma walked into an upscale coffee house at about 8:15 a.m. on Sunday and opened fire on the 4 officers as they sat working on their laptops.
The 4 dead officers — three men and one woman — were in full uniform including flak jackets as they prepared to start their day shifts.
Ed Troyer, a spokesman for the Pierce County Sheriff, told reporters that two of the officers were executed “flat out” where they sat. He said a third officer was shot dead as he stood up and attempted to reach for his weapon. The last officer standing struggled with Clemmons and may have shot him before being killed.
Troyer believes Clemmons may already have succumbed to his injuries.
“We have determined that in fact he has been shot,” he said. “He may be deceased from his gunshot wound.”
Troyer said Clemmons was “well versed” with his weapon and the police officers were targeted. Clemmons didn’t aim at anyone else in the coffee shop and all the bullets hit their marks.
A family member told police Clemmons was dropped off by someone at his aunt’s house in the well-kept neighborhood of middle class homes sometime yesterday evening. She said she tried calling her aunt and Clemmons but no one in the house answered. Police have cordoned off a 3 block area around the house.
Witnesses say they heard flash bang devices and gunshots near the home as SWAT moved in.
Clemmons has an extensive criminal history, including rape of a child, aggravated robbery and attempted murder of another police officer. Yet he was given clemency by then-governor and Fox News host Mike Huckabee, who commuted his 95-year prison sentence to time served and parole.
If Huckabee decides to run for president in 2012, Clemmons could become his Willie Horton.
Horton was a convicted felon serving a life sentence for murder when he was released on a work furlough program in the 1980s. While out on work release, Horton committed rape, armed robbery and assault. He became an albatross around the neck of then-presidential candidate, Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis, who favored the work release program.