Friday, January 22, 2010


IVANO SAYS: Almost, two months ago, four Officers of the Lakewood, Wn., Police Department were gun-down by a ruthless, vicious killer. Figlio Della Costa Marvin Del Chiaro has sent me a report on this tragic event, which he received from a confidential law enforcement source. I have edited some of the words and phrases for clarification, however the details as received have not been altered.
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(Photo above of Officers' Funeral taken by the San Diego Police Department, William Landsdowne, Chief and was first published in the 'Farsider' a Bill Mattos -Leroy Pyle Publication)
The details of the shooting are as follows:

The coffee shop was owned by a retired Tacoma Police Officer.
It (the coffee shop)was considered a "safe" hangout for cops
waiting to go on duty, or stopping by for a break.

Lakewood Pd is a new Department recently formed. Almost all of the
Officers (including the officers that were killed) were hired from the Pierce County
Sheriffs Office. The Deputies were hired from the jail.

The four (Officers)were drinking coffee before shift and working on
laptops with their heads down. The table was approximately 15 feet from the counter/check out register.

Shooter came in and smiled and acknowledge the two Officers facing the doorway/entrance. They (the two officers) return the greeting. Shooter goes
up to the counter like he (was)going to order. After stepping up to counter, he
pulls a semi-automatic pistol from under his coat. Shooter takes a couple of
steps toward (the) table, where the deputies are seated. (His) distance is now approximately 12 feet.

(The)shooter shoots first (Officer), who is facing him across the table. He (first Officer) is shot
in (the) head. He is killed instantly. Shooter then shoots nearest Officer, who is seated away from him, in the back of the head. He is killed instantly.

Shooter then shoots across the table at third Officer, who is facing him, and misses. (He fires a) fourth shot and strikes the third Officer in the face, killing him instantly.

Last Officer is a Sergeant. He stands, draws his weapon and charges the Shooter. The table is knocked over in the process. The Police Sergeant grabs the Shooter by his coat and engages him with his weapon. First round strikes the Shooter in his mid-section and goes on through. (Sergeant) fires second round. The bullet strikes the Shooter in the front pocket. The round hits keys inside the pocket, but penetrates through --about 1.5 inches into Shooters thigh. (Officers carry 180 grain gold dot ammunition. unknown at this time what kind of pistol).

The Shooter raises his gun and shoots the Sergeant in the face. The Sergeant falls to the ground. The Shooter kneels and bends over the fallen Sergeant. He fires a CONTACT shot to the right eye. The Shooter then shoots the Sergeant in his other eye. Once again this is a CONTACT shot.
The Shooter then takes the Sergeant's wallet and steals his credit cards and his duty weapon.
The Shooter does not rob the store or hurt or threaten anyone else. The shooting of the first three Officer lasted approximately 3-5 seconds. The Sergeants encounter lasted another 5-7 seconds.Shooter has an accomplice waiting outside in a car. He gets into car and they leave the area. (The accomplice is a former cell mate of the Shooter when he did time in Arkansas prison.

Federal agents track Shooter by cellphone "pinging" to locate phone/area. Five more additional accomplices help shooter with medical issues, food, money etc. . Federal agents find driver accomplice and get the name of the Shooter. All accomplices are arrested and general area where
Shooter is headed for is found out.

Tuesday approximately 3:00 a.m. Shooter turns off phone and takes battery out, so he can no longer be tracked by the "pinging". A short time later, Pierce County Deputy checks an abandoned car with engine running, headlights on and driver door open.

As the Deputy walks back to his patrol car he sees movement from behind the car. Once he clears his headlights, which were blinding him, he clearly sees a person crouched behind the squad car. He recognizes him as the Shooter.

The Deputy orders him to ground and issues other commands. Shooter attempts to draw his weapon and starts to run. Deputy fires five rounds. Three bullets strike the Shooter, who falls to the ground. Deputy covers Shooter with his weapon until backup arrives. (Unknown how long it took for backup to arrive). Once backup units arrive, the Shooter is handcuffed. At this point he is already dead. Deputies find slain Sergeant's duty weapon on the Shooter.

Later, one of the bullets found in the Shooter' body is traced to the Sergeant's weapon, confirming that the deceased Sergeant had shot the Shooter.



The names of the Fallen Officers follows:

Tina Griswald

Ron Owens

Mark Renninger

Greg Richards

Addio mi belli Figli. Until we meet, hopefully in uniform, across "Il Ultimo Ponte.


Ivan Comelli SJPD- Ret said...

In my book "La Nostra Costa" I call it the "murky world inhabited by Police Officers". By that I meant, that unforeseen circumstances, usually at a moments notice can alter their lives forever,usually for the worse. Unfortunately for the four officers killed it proved to be a tragic life ending episode. Beyond that, the negative impact on the four families of the Officrs and their friends, will last a lifetime. From personal experience, I know that nothing will ever change that. We can only persever and keep the memories of the Fallen Officers alive. And above all, hope and pray that it never happens again. But unfortunately, in the murky world of the Police Officer it will.

MARV said...

Well done, Kap; even though it was my own article, I teared up again reading the account for the umpteenth time. Even though I was never a sworn officer, I have always felt so very close to everyone in the law enforcement community; I'll be attending the Fallen Officers Foundation dinner again this year, on Feb. 6th at the Cocoanut Grove (Santa Cruz,Ca). MDC

Canadian Furlan said...

Ivano! Our condolences to the fallen officers. These unecessary killings are all a unecessary waste of precious lives. I cannot express the value that our police services provide for all of us. My prayers will be with all the fallen and their families


IVAN said...

In my book (page 334)I cite 6 very basic rules of police survival which I tried to adhere to during my Police Career. Rule #2, unfortunately, came into play in this tragic event: "2. Always watch your back. Crooks and/or cowards will take advantage of your blindside".

Having stated that I went on to write on page 336:"...I still must admit (that) I truly believe the ultimate determiner of survival to be just plain luck."

As in the case of Fallen Officer Richard Huerta, San Jose Police Dept.(assassinated by a lone gunman in 1970)these unfortunate Officers happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

No matter how hard Police Officers try to stay out of "harms way", danger will always find them.

Anonymous said...

I had not seen a report of the incident, but it was as I suspected... the shooter appeared friendly and acknowledged the officers. It was always easier to "alert" on the suspicious. It doesn't help these officers, but others should learn and their deaths will not be in vain.
Roger P.

Anonymous said...

Of course it was a tragedy and was outrageous. There's not a spot in hell too hot for the s.o.b. JM

Saratoga Sam said...

Ivano: Rule #3 in your book is:
"Watch their hands and eyes. Furtive moments and fleeting glances will often convey what a crook is about to do."
Don't you think these terrible killings could have been avoided if at least one of the officers kept his eyes on the Killer?

IVAN said...

Sam: I think Roger P.(above) makes a good point. It is easier to alert on the suspicious (person). And from my stand point, I think that you would of had to been there to see exactly what happened when the Killer entered the store. Was there anything in his mannerism that should have alerted the Officer looking at him? The evidence at hand indicates that there was none.

Having said that and using my own experience as a reference, I was never comfortable
in Uniform in a restaurant or a public place. This was especially true in the late 1960's and early 1970's during the Vietnam protests and "Black Power" demomstrations.
Police Officers in uniform presented easy targets for those who wanted to make a "statement".
Thus, I tried to adhere to the rule "Watch you back - Protect your blindside(s)" Did I do this 100% of the time? Of course not. At times I let my guard slip. Fortunately my luck held and I was able to survive in the murky and dangerous world of the police." Ivan

Anonymous said...

Some lessons to learn from our fallen brothers.

1. Just because you are "off duty" or in a "safe" restaurant,
keep your head up and your eyes and ears open.
2. Do not sit close to the register or other focal
point (entrance doors, bathrooms, hallways ect). Try to sit where
you can scan the area.
3. Leave devices that distract you, like laptops,etc. in the
car. Do your reports and other things that take your mind
off your safety, at post or far away from the public.
4. Even at lunch or break, don't let your guard down. You should
always be in condition yellow.
5. Keep your distance. Take those lateral steps or diagonal steps
and move. It is a lot harder for the bad guy to shoot a moving
target, let alone a lot of distance.
6. Each time you train, train as if your life depends on
While I do not think they could have done anything different
after the contact, do your best at whatever training you attend. Lose the mentality of "It will never happen to

GINO said...

I too was moved to tears when I read that terrible account on the loss of those
fine public servants.

I have always appreciated people who do so much to preserve the lives of others, even at the
risk of their own, whether they be in law enforcement, firefighting, or the military.

There are few occasions for me to express my appreciation to those people, but there was a
brief occasion yesterday. As I arrived at the church to do some clerk work, I notice a Monmouth
Police Dept. car on the far end of the parking lot. I was hoping to have a word with him.
When I finished my work, I moved my car so my open window faced his, and thanked him
for being there, as we appreciate all that the police do for our protection. I told him that had I
known he would be there, I would have brought him some lunch.

It's not much, but I hope he recognized that my meaning was sincere.

Thanks for all you do too, Ivano. For all you have done and for what you continue to do.

Saluti, Gino