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Four caskets arrive for a memorial service for four slain Lakewood
police officers, Tuesday, at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Wash. The
memorial is being held a week after the officers were gunned down
in a coffee shop before the start of their shift, Nov. 29. Killed
were Sgt. Mark Renninger, 39, and officers Ronald Owens, 37, Tina
Griswold, 40, and Greg Richards, 42. (AP Photo/Elaine
PHOTOS FROM THE MEMORIAL SERVICE!
RACHEL LA CORTE Associated Press Writer
TACOMA, Wash. — A procession of 2,000 cars followed the flag-draped
caskets of four slain police officers to a memorial service Tuesday
as thousands of mourners, mostly members of law enforcement from
across the country, lined the streets.
Lori Lightfoot, a police detective from Fresno, Calif., was among
officers who traveled from as far away as New York, Chicago and
Canada to remember Sgt. Mark Renninger and Officers Ronald Owens,
Tina Griswold, and Greg Richards.
Lightfoot and Sheila Chandler, also a Fresno detective, said the
deaths of the four Lakewood officers brought back memories of four
Oakland police officers killed during a traffic stop and a shootout
“It’s just disbelief,” Lightfoot said. “It’s unbelievable that it
could happen again.”
The Lakewood officers were killed Nov. 29 before the start of their
shift. Authorities say Maurice Clemmons singled them out and spared
employees and other customers at the coffee shop in Parkland, a
Tacoma suburb about 35 miles south of Seattle.
Clemmons was shot to death last week by a Seattle police officer
after a two-day manhunt. Prosecutors said he received help from
family and friends, and seven people have been arrested.
Several candlelight vigils have been held for the officers since
the shooting, but Tuesday’s memorial service and procession is
believed to be the largest in state history. Thousands of people
lined the streets around the Tacoma Dome, and an estimated 20,000
people attended the service, which was delayed more than an hour
because of the large law enforcement procession.
The officers’ family and friends served as pallbearers, carrying
the coffins inside.
A ceremonial honor guard opened the ceremony, and every officer in
the arena stood at attention and saluted as the families of the
four officers and members of the Lakeland Police Department were
led to their seats.
“They were good people, and they were great cops,” Lakewood Police
Chief Brett Farrar said at the service. “And they will be truly
In addition to eulogies from family, friends and public officials,
mourners will watch a video tribute to the officers. Floral
arrangements lined the stage, as well as two motorcycles, a drum
set and a NASCAR race car.
Cpl. Jack Hundial, of Surrey, British Columbia, was one of 1,000
Royal Canadian Mounted Police in attendance. He said he and his
colleagues wanted to show their support because “it could have been
any of us.”
“I think about their families,” he said. “I don’t think you ever
find true closure for something this tragic.”
Gov. Chris Gregoire, who will speak at the service, has directed
that flags at all state facilities be lowered to half-staff
Additional space for the public to view telecasts of the service
was made available at the University of Washington Tacoma, Pacific
Lutheran University and the Christian Faith Center in Federal