In Seattle, a manhunt for Maurice Clemmons

Maurice Clemmons was not in a house that police raided.
Maurice Clemmons was not in a house that police raided. (Handout - Getty Images)
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By associated press
Tuesday, December 1, 2009

SEATTLE -- A man suspected in the slaying Sunday of four police officers at a Tacoma area coffee shop remained on the loose Monday. A SWAT team raided a house in Seattle in pursuit of the man, but in vain.

Hundreds of officers were deployed around Seattle for any sign of Maurice Clemmons. Authorities offered a $125,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.

Police had been positioned overnight at a house where they thought Clemmons was holed up, and they spent hours trying to communicate with him, using loudspeakers and explosions and even sending a robot into the house.

Seattle police spokesman Jeff Kappel said there was evidence at one point that Clemmons was on the property, but officers could not determine whether he was in the house itself. Kappel would not describe what the evidence was but said a "good tip" led them to the home.

Meanwhile, University of Washington officials alerted students by e-mail and text messages to an unconfirmed report that Clemmons may have gotten off a bus on or near the campus, about three miles north of the residence, said Cmdr. Jerome Solomon of the university police. Police were checking the area, he said.

Pierce County Sheriff's Department spokesman Ed Troyer said first-degree murder warrants have been issued against Clemmons in the killings of the officers, from the Tacoma suburb of Lakewood. They were gunned down in a coffee shop at the start of their shifts Sunday morning.

Clemmons has a long criminal history, including a long prison sentence in Arkansas that was commuted by then-Gov. Mike Huckabee nearly a decade ago, and a recent arrest for allegedly assaulting a police officer in Washington state.

"This guy should have never been on the street," said Brian D. Wurts, president of the police union in Lakewood. "Our elected officials need to find out why these people are out."

Police said are not sure of a motive for shooting the officers as they worked on their laptop computers at the beginning of their shifts. Clemmons was described as increasingly erratic in the past few months and had been arrested recently on charges of assaulting a police officer.

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