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Lakewood's Final Goodbye to Four Officers Killed in the Line of Duty (SLIDESHOWS)Photos by Q Madp Story by Tim King Salem-News.com
Mark Renninger, Ronald Owens, Tina Griswold and Greg Richards were laid to rest with the greatest tribute and highest honor.
(TACOMA, Wash.) - Services were held today in Washington for four Lakewood police officers who were ambushed and killed Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009 in the line of duty.
The four were preparing for their day at Forza's Coffee shop in Parkland, Wash., when the gunman entered the cafe and killed the four officers.
39-year old Mark Renninger, a 13-year law enforcement veteran, is survived by a wife and three children.
37-year old Ronald Owens, who had 12-years of experience in law enforcement, is survived by a former wife and a daughter.
40-year old Tina Griswold had 14 years in law enforcement, the veteran officer is survived by her husband and two children.
42-year old Greg Richards, who had eight years of law enforcement experience, is survived by his wife and three children.
Events like the one held today require massive coordination as law enforcement agencies from all over the nation and even beyond, attend to show their respects for their fellow officers.
In fact, due to the large numbers of law enforcement officers who arrived to participate in the procession to honor the four fallen Lakewood Police Officers, there was a 45-minute delay before the memorial service began.
The various city and county and state law enforcement agencies stood side by side with firefighters and other emergency personnel, veterans and active duty military, and a whole lot of people who wore no uniform but cared no less for the sacrifice of four Lakewood Police officers who were cut down in the prime of their lives.
Q Madp of IraqWarHeroes.org attended the event Tuesday and filed these photos of the somber and highly honorable occasion.
Madp says the sacrifice of these four is a monumental loss to Lakewood in particular, but also to police everywhere in the world, who lead a life that is very dangerous and potentially violent at all times.
Pierce County officials say the massive attendance caused the main staging area at the McChord Air Force Base to close to processional vehicles, that after almost 2,000 vehicles were already inside the gates.
Law enforcement, Fire and EMS vehicles were then detoured to an alternate location in the north parking lot of the Tacoma Mall where transit was provided to the Tacoma Dome.
They say everything went well, and Madp concurred, citing how much organizing the event required with so many more than anticipated, in attendance.
Reports that two of the officers were shot execution style surfaced shortly after the news about the officers was released. It was reported that one of the officers put up a serious fight that ended in a deadly struggle with the suspect, who shot the officer fatally shot near the door.
The suspect was shot and killed in Seattle two days later.
There was no shortage of mutual support at the event, Madp says, and plenty of tears were shed by even those who never met the four officers who perished so needlessly on Nov. 29th, 2009.
I would list the number of police and fire and related agencies that attended the event, but there are so many that there literally is not room to name them all. Suffice to say that agencies from Newport Beach to the Royal Canadian Mounties, to Minneapolis and of course hundreds and hundreds of NW agencies, every one you could possibly name, took the time to attend.
The Patriot Guard Riders were on hand with an endless row of red white and blue flags, and active duty groups like the U.S. Navy and the Oregon National Guard were in attendance.
Shortly after the fatal shootings, Lakewood's Mayor Douglas Richardson and City Manager Andrew Neiditz, issued this statement.
"Today we experienced our most tragic event in Lakewood's fourteen years as a city. We lost four of our finest in a shocking, heartbreaking, and senseless murder. Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers are with the families and colleagues of these innocent victims during this extraordinarily difficult time."
The covered badge is one of the most ominous sites many in law enforcement will ever lay their eyes on. It means one of their brothers or sisters paid the highest sacrifice, and there are few times when they must bid farewell to this many. The covered badge is the clear reminder of a police officer's mortality.
With our friend Q Madp, our staff hopes this tribute allows some understanding of the magnitude of this event.
God Speed Mark Renninger, Ronald Owens, Tina Griswold and Greg Richards.
Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor.
Q Madp is a person who has dedicated his life to preserving the integrity of those who have died fighting for their nation overseas. This is a person who has wrapped his entire life around his efforts to preserve the legacies of people who have died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as during other conflicts. He doesn’t think their deaths should go unrecognized, and he is right.
Q is a photographer and he has his work cut out for him as the self-appointed unofficial photographer of NW military funerals. He travels to services and he is constantly on the move. When he isn’t driving or shooting pictures, Q spends his time researching combat statistics and adding names to the vast list that he hopes will eventually include every American lost in the combat theaters and every other allied soldier as well. His Website is easy to remember, IraqWarHeroes.org is a place of memories for thousands of families who have lost a loved one.
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