Early this morning, despite a series of SWAT activities at locations police believed that Clemmons might attempt to hide himself, it appears that he was seen and identified by an officer on regular patrol. When the officer of Seattle Police located the man who killed in cold blood four Lakewood Police officers, he was armed with the sidearm of one of the officers he’d killed.
Assistant Seattle Police Chief Jim Pugel, speaking to reporters this morning, indicated that a single officer noticed a stolen Acura left running along South Kenyan Street. He approached the car, looked it over and returned to his patrol car to do the paperwork and arrange for the car to be transported. As he sat in his patrol unit, the officer noticed in his side view mirror that a man was approaching him from behind. The veteran patrol officer jumped from the car, ordered Clemmons to halt and put his hands up. Chief Pugel said that Clemmons began to ran. Unwilling to allow the four-time killer to escape, the patrol officer fired three or four rounds, killing Clemmons.
This photo, taken by Joshua Trujillo/seattlepi.com, shows several Seattle Police Officers looking at Clemmons body as it is loaded into an ambulance for transport to the medical examiner. Trujillo and several of his colleagues probably worked almost without a break since Sunday morning, and have used Twitter to keep each other and some of us who follow them on that service up to speed on what each is seeing.
Troyer has said that Clemmons had told several relatives and friends to watch the news on Sunday because he was “going to kill a bunch of cops.” Apparently none of them reported the threat, and the next morning Clemmons acted on it. As suspected all day, Clemmons had been wounded in the torso, severely enough that Ed Troyer was somewhat surprised that he could get away.
A relative treated the wound on Sunday night, before it was joined by three or four additional gunshot wounds when Clemmons approached the Seattle patrol officer from the rear, then ran when the officer spun around and saw him.
Ed Troyer of the Peirce County Sherriff’s Department met with reporters early Tuesday morning. According to Troyer, three arrests have been made for "rendering criminal assistance" to Clemmons in his flight. Additionally, a fourth person is being detained for assisting Clemmons in escaping from the Parkland area after Sunday's shooting. Troyer also said he expects that an additional six or seven arrests will be made: "Some are friends, some are acquaintances, some are partners in crime, some are relatives," Troyer said. "Now they're all partners in crime."
Troyer said that family members were supplying Clemmons with cell phones, money and were working on getting him transported out of state. Troyer has also said that Clemmons had attempted to draw his pistol when the SPD officer ordered him to stop and show his hands.
CLIFF DESPEAUX / THE SEATTLE TIMES
Cliff Despeaux of the Seattle Times, who also must have been working since Sunday morning on this story (Despeaux tweeted that he began his day covering the Seattle Marathon on Sunday before the awful call came in and he headed to Parkland. He worked most of the next 48 hours shadowing SWAT teams as they fanned out to cut Clemmons off from additional aid from family and friends. The above photo is of the location where Clemmons was killed. His twitter account was ‘tweeting’ steadily for both days.
Lakewood Police Chief Bret Farrar came to the site of where Clemmons was killed early this morning. Farar said "I just want to thank all my brothers and sisters in law enforcement," he said. "I just can't say enough about what they've done in the last few days."
Update 1 (December 1, 2009)
Seattle Police Officer Benjamin L. Kelly has been identified as the officer who ended the criminal activities and life of the man responsible for killing in cold blood four police officers on Sunday, as well as a long string of assaults, armed robberies and most recently, charges that he raped a child. "It was incredible police work. He's an incredible officer. He is nothing short of a hero, although he would bristle at being called that," according to Seattle Police Officers Guild president Rich O'Neill. He added that Officer Kelly values his privacy and doesn’t seek the limelight.
"I told him, 'You caught the suspect responsible for the worst police massacre in Washington state history. You need to take a deep breath and soak that in.' ", O’Neill added. “He was alone, and was confronted by this guy, and knew it was him. "He wouldn't put his hands out, and to later find that he had the dead officer's gun on his person, one can only assume what he was approaching (Kelly) for".
Seattle police have said today that it is believed that the scene, beginning with a stolen car parked with the hood up and motor running, certainly suggested an attempt by Clemmons to ambush another officer. Assistant Seattle Police Chief Jim Pugel has said Clemmons approached Kelly from behind, when Kelly noticed him approaching, he jumped from the squad car to disarm and arrest Clemmons.