Police Continue Search for the Gunman in Washington Shooting

November 30, 2009 Updated: October 1, 2015

Mourners visit a shrine outside of Lakewood Police headquarters for four officers who were killed November 30, 2009 in Lakewood, Washington. (Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
Mourners visit a shrine outside of Lakewood Police headquarters for four officers who were killed November 30, 2009 in Lakewood, Washington. (Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
All flags were lowered to half-staff in Pierce County, Wash., on Monday, while police continued their manhunt for Maurice Clemmons, who is suspect in the killings of four police officers on Sunday.

"This cowardly ambush reminds us that day after day police officers risk their lives for the community," said Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist in a statement, adding that his office is "assisting in every way possible to help bring the killer to justice."

Clemmons was shot by one of the officers during his Sunday shooting at a coffee house. According to the Pierce County Department of Emergency Management, he is considered to be wounded and armed. The reward for his arrest was raised from $100,000 to $125,000 on Monday.

The attack, which the Washington state patrol called a "planned ambush," took place on Sunday, when Clemmons is suspected to have walked into a coffee house where four police officers were doing their morning paperwork, and opened fire on them. Clemmons did not threaten or attack customers or workers in the coffee house before he fled the scene.

Clemmons has a long and disturbing criminal record and has been in and out of prison. He has been sentenced to a total of 108 years in prison in his life. When he was 18, he was sentenced to 95 years in prison for a string of burglaries, theft, and possession of a firearm in 1990.

He was released on parole after Republican candidate hopeful for the 2012 presidential elections Mike Huckabee commuted his sentence in 2000. Huckabee, the current governor of Arkansas, issued a statement Sunday, saying should Clemmons "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." 

After being released, Clemmons was sent to prison again for violating parole and was released in 2004.

In July, he was charged and later sentenced for the May 10, 2009, rape of a girl between the age of 12 and 13 years old.

Victims of related incidents said they went along with his requests "because they were all afraid of the way the defendant was acting," according to court documents on the case provided by the Pierce County Legal Information Network Exchange. The document continues that Clemmons claimed he was Jesus.

"The defendant's sister reported that the defendant had not been himself lately," says the document.

"He had said that the secret service was coming to get him because he had written a letter to the president. The defendant's behavior had reportedly become unpredictable and erratic."

Clemmons was released on bail just several days before his suspected killings of Lakewood police officers Sergeant Mark Renninger, Ronald Owens, Tina Griswold, and Greg Richards in Sunday's shooting.

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