December 7, 2009 in Region

20,000 expected at service for slain WA officers

Rachel La Corte Associated Press
 

OLYMPIA — The memorial for four slain Lakewood police officers is expected to pack the Tacoma Dome on Tuesday afternoon, drawing delegations from police forces as far away as New York.

A three-hour procession of about 2,000 emergency vehicles, including the families’ motorcade and cars from the Lakewood Police Department, will leave for the arena from McChord Air Force Base on Tuesday morning.

The memorial service comes just over a week after the officers were gunned down in a coffee shop before the start of their shift.

Killed were Sgt. Mark Renninger, 39, and Officers Ronald Owens, 37, Tina Griswold, 40, and Greg Richards, 42.

Gov. Chris Gregoire, who will speak at the service, has directed that flags at all state agency facilities be lowered to half-staff Tuesday.

Maurice Clemmons was shot to death early Tuesday by a Seattle police officer after a two-day manhunt.

Authorities said Clemmons singled out the officers and spared employees and other customers at the coffee shop in Parkland, a Tacoma suburb about 35 miles south of Seattle. He then fled but not before one of the dying officers shot him in the torso. Prosecutors said several members of a network of family and friends have been arrested for allegedly helping him elude capture.

Several candlelight vigils have been held for the officers since the shooting. Tuesday’s memorial service is believed to be the largest in state history.

The memorial service is expected to begin about 1 p.m. at the Tacoma Dome and could last as long as 3 1/2 hours. Roads surrounding the Tacoma Dome and along the procession route will be shut down for several hours.

The mayor of Lakewood and the Lakewood police chief is set to speak at the memorial, as will family and friends of the slain officers.

© Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Get stories like this in a free daily email


Please keep it civil. Don't post comments that are obscene, defamatory, threatening, off-topic, an infringement of copyright or an invasion of privacy. Read our forum standards and community guidelines.

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus