Thousands mourn four slain police officers in Tacoma - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Thousands mourn four slain police officers in Tacoma

Tina Griswold Tina Griswold
Ronald Owens Ronald Owens
Mark Renninger Mark Renninger
Greg Richards Greg Richards
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TACOMA, Wash. – Pierce County says about 2,000 police and fire vehicles from more than 150 agencies joined the procession to the Tacoma Dome memorial for four slain Lakewood police officers.

Sergeant Mark Renninger, Officer Ronnie Owens, Officer Greg Richards and Officer Tina Griswold were shot and killed November 29 while doing paperwork at a coffee shop.  A Seattle police officer shot and killed the suspected gunman, Maurice Clemmons, two days later.

Vehicles began leaving McChord Air Force Base around 10 a.m. Tuesday on a route past the Lakewood Police Department to be joined by Lakewood police and families of the slain officers.
     
The route took them under a large American flag hanging from arching fire truck ladders. Thousands lined overpasses and streets as the procession passed and all ages had their hands on their hearts in unusually cold December weather.

Officials estimated most of the 20,000 people in the Tacoma Dome for the 1 p.m. service would be officers. It is expected to be the largest memorial of its kind in state history. The memorial service was delayed more than an hour because of the large law enforcement procession.
     
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 Way.

Story continues below...

The bodies of the officers are taken into the Tacoma Dome and placed in front of the stage

Law enforcement from across the world converged in Tacoma to honor the officers.  At least two-dozen Spokane police employees attended, as well as the Spokane and Coeur d'Alene Honor Guards. The Spokane County Sheriff's Office, the Cheney and Post Falls police departments, as well as ISP and WSP were represented at the memorial.  Eight members of the Spokane Valley Fire Department Honor Guard and pipe and drum Corp participated in the memorial for the slain officer killed in the line of duty on November 29, 2009.

Fresno, California, Police Detective Lori Lightfoot was among officers who traveled from as far away as New York, Chicago and Canada to remember the Lakewood officers.
     
Lightfoot said the November 29 deaths of the four Lakewood officers brought back memories of four Oakland police officers killed during a traffic stop and a shootout in March.

"It's unbelievable that it could happen again," said Lightfoot.

Bret Farrar, Lakewood Police Chief, said, "These were good people. They were great cops, and they will be truly missed."

There was not a 21-gun salute at the end of the memorial because of the nature of the officers' deaths. Instead, a bell was rung 21 times. 

At the end of the service, the officers' radio call letters were played three times, each to no response.

In addition to eulogies from family, friends and public officials, mourners watched a video tribute to the officers who were killed by a lone gunman as they sat at a coffee shop before the start of their shift.

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