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Dec-09-2009 02:32printcomments

Lakewood's Final Goodbye to Four Officers Killed in the Line of Duty (SLIDESHOWS)

Mark Renninger, Ronald Owens, Tina Griswold and Greg Richards were laid to rest with the greatest tribute and highest honor.

Lakewood, Wash. Police memorial by Q Madp
Photos by Q Madp

(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.

Lakewood Police Memorial. Photos by Q Madp

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 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.

Lakewood, Wash. Police Officers who were killed November 29, 2009

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.

The Fallen

Mark Renninger
Sergeant Mark Renninger, age 39 with thirteen years of law enforcement experience. He is survived by a wife and three children.

Ronald Owens
Officer Ronald Owen, age 37 with twelve years of law enforcement experience. He is survived by a former wife and a daughter.

Tina Griswold
Officer Tina Griswold, age 40 with fourteen years of law enforcement experience. She is survived by her husband and two children.

Greg Richards
Officer Greg Richards, age 42 with eight years of law enforcement experience. He is survived by a wife and three children.

Lakewood, Wash. Police Officers who were killed November 29, 2009

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's Executive News Editor.
Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines. Tim holds numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), the first place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several other awards including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Serving the community in very real terms, is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website, affiliated with Google News and several other major search engines and news aggregators.
You can send Tim an email at this address:


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, is a place of memories for thousands of families who have lost a loved one.

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

All comments and messages are approved by people and self promotional links or unacceptable comments are denied.

JACK W. ALLISON January 4, 2010 4:46 pm (Pacific time)

The comment I just sent may not be acceptable to you. It has a business in the content. I understand your concern. If you can add my Email to the original comment that would be fine with me. email This is in no way self promotional. I just thought there might be folks that might like to have a way to Honor and Respect the Officers.

Editor: Jaci, I am sorry, I probably did that without realizing what the purpose was.  Please feel free to resend the information and I will gladly put it up.

JACK W. ALLISON January 4, 2010 4:29 pm (Pacific time)

Here is info for patch: STITCHALOGO.COM PH# 1-310-970-0415 Give them my name ORDER# 103440945551 Ask for Lakewood Officers Patch. I have no affiliation with this company other than they have made me patches in the past.

JACK W. ALLISON January 4, 2010 2:47 pm (Pacific time)

I had a patch made in honor of the 4 officers. The Memorial was something I will never forget. I wanted to Honor and show Respect in my own special way. Anyone can order a duplicate of patch if you desire. It's 3 1/2 X 6 in. It says "In Honor of Lakewood Police Dept. The names of the Officers and at bottom I put the Memorial date of Dec. 9. You can have date changed to Nov 29 if you desire. It was my preference to put Memorial date. I have talked to Lakewood Police Dept and have sent them emails of patch. I did'nt want them or anyone to be offended. They said they loved it "and the 4 officers would have loved it". You can email me for specifics of who to call, order # etc. May they rest in Peace...

Vic December 10, 2009 8:12 am (Pacific time)

To "from Texas"..there are a lot of ways to serve your country that do not require guns,killing or lording over starving populations and killing them at will...but I am sure you are not interested in that. You are a dupe, my friend ( I know that you probably do not know such big words, but look it up) an employee of UNOCAL and the many weapons manufacturers, many of which are in the anus of America known as Texas. My country is now Mexico, where the people are friendly, the government not involved in murder overseas for $$$, and racism virtually non-existent. Crime is a fraction of what it is in Oregon, and the police are helpful and friendly. You warmongering, brute force loving sociopaths (another big word, I know) can have the US. So string your Christmas lights up on your trailer and pray that Jesus will help you kill all the brown people so that good white trash can drive their gas guzzling trucks to the Piggly Wiggly store to get Debbie Cakes, pork rinds and old fashioned Texas Christmas dinner. Did you get your Christmas card from UNOCAL (look it up) yet? Dont hold your breath...pawns dont get cards.

Vic December 9, 2009 5:34 pm (Pacific time)

Well here in Mexico, fishing is the most dangerous occupation. I want to repeat that I did not mean disrespect for these officers or their families at all. By the response, I have to deduct that I was most likely wrong to have asked the question. But,I did not mean to trivialize or politicize this tragedy...not at all.

From Texas December 9, 2009 4:29 pm (Pacific time)

As a Solider and Military Police Officer, the advice I can offer Vik after reading his idiot comments is we have two wars going on overseas....why not take ur pick and head to do something for your country like these 4 brave officers did

Vic December 9, 2009 2:38 pm (Pacific time)

"Shameful"??? For wondering who sponsored and paid for this event which certainly cost at least a half million dollars??? I am not diminishing or belittling this tragedy at all....but aren't our communities somewhat strapped for funds right now? If four schoolteachers (who I believe are just as important as police...though some of you undoubtedly disagree) were killed in Wyoming, can Oregon teachers expect that they can drive state-provided cars fueled with taxpayer-paid-for gasoline to the event? And Nina...all these thousands of officers were not salaried and were off duty? How about the hundreds if not thousands of vehicles...are they privately owned police cars, fire trucks and ambulances? I don't think so. And Daniel, excuse me for asking a question...that's not cool in Canada? I'm sure that when a beloved journalist dies in Canada, the government pays for all interested journalists to attend the service and even provides transportation...right? Anything else would be "callous and shameful"....

C’mon, Vic, your original question was disingenuous. You know full well who paid for the event. I saw RCMP were there, obviously paid for by the Canadian taxpayer. It never would have crossed my mind to question it. You’d have to ask Q, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there weren't also British police represented (and a few other nations), as well. These are people (and firefighters, too) who head off to work each day, with the real possibility, that they may never return. They’re not in it to get rich. Only soldiers have a similar reality, but that’s only in wartime. Police choose public service as a career. It seems your concern is about the public purse being strained. I would suggest that asking your government to pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan might be a more appropriate thing to do. If you’re the same Vic I’ve talked with in the past, I’m a little surprised at your comment.

But your comment, Vic, raises another interesting point. I’ve read in the past that there are lots of other occupations here in Canada, and I’m sure it’s the same there , that have higher mortality rates than police or firefighters. I can’t think of one of them off hand, but they do exist.

Anonymous December 9, 2009 2:26 pm (Pacific time)

Vic, Our tax dollars do pay for our safety, which involves police officers and officials. I'm sure they were getting their regular hourly pay for those hired for security, which was needed. As for the majority who attended the service in respect of the tragedy...I'm sure that was on their own time. And was the respectful thing to be doing!!! I think it was a wonderful dedication~

Daniel Johnson December 9, 2009 2:13 pm (Pacific time)

I agree with Nina. Vic, your statement is both callous and shameful.

Nina December 9, 2009 1:11 pm (Pacific time)

Vic, with all do respect, you should be ashamed making a statement like that. I do believe that the majority of the officers attend while off duty. On the other hand, no matter how much it cost the tax payers money, these officers deserve it. Just think about the families and the kids growing up without a dad. We spend so much money on illegal aliens, schools what are not worse anything and other things which are not needed. Shame on you, that's all I have to say.

Anonymous December 9, 2009 8:28 am (Pacific time)

What a tragedy from a man who should have never been allowed to be out of prison due to previous activities that put him there. Our justice system needs to make some serious changes!

Vic December 9, 2009 6:54 am (Pacific time)

Who paid for these thousands of officers and official vehicles to attend this service? Taxpayers?

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