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Federal Way mourns fallen Lakewood police officers
Maurice Clemmons, a former Federal Way resident, killed Lakewood police officers Greg Richards, Mark Renninger, Tina Griswold and Ronald Owens as they drank coffee before their shift. He was shot in the gut at the Nov. 29 crime scene in Parkland, then enlisted the help of friends and family to run from law enforcement for two days.
The “Clemmons Seven,” as prosecutors have referred to them, have all been arrested and charged in crimes related to the incident.
Support for the families and signs of mourning have shown up all over Federal Way in the past two weeks. Blue lights were displayed in windows. Thousands of orders were made at the region’s Papa John’s Pizza locations, which donated proceeds Dec. 8 and 9 to the officers’ families.
A memorial service for the fallen police officers was held Tuesday at the Tacoma Dome. The Federal Way Police Department sent 30 vehicles filled with 70 officers to the procession preceding the memorial. South King Fire and Rescue also sent a contingent.
Then there was the memorial itself. The Tacoma Dome was packed with first responders from across America and Canada as well as the families of the Lakewood officers.
Christian Faith Center in Federal Way served as an alternative viewing location for the memorial. More than 100 citizens came to the church, many arriving hours early to watch the procession, then staying for the entire ceremony.
The attendees sat there for hours. The place was silent except for the hum of helicopters on the TV or the sounds of the funeral. Everyone stood when the caskets were moved into the dome. Those gathered at the church came from all walks of life: Young children, who fell asleep before the end, and the elderly, using chairs as support to stand at attention for as long as they could.
“I’m a vet and a nurse, this is my church,” resident Jackie Hill said. “I wanted to help. I wanted to be here.”
Also at the church were police, sheriff and firefighters who were on duty and couldn’t attend the Tacoma Dome memorial.
“I’m here to pay tribute to my fallen brothers and sister,” Algona policeman Jack Bramson said.
Bramson stood at the back of the room the entire ceremony, ready if a call came, standing at attention and saluting his fallen family members.