Sunday, November 29, 2009

Four Police Officers Murdered in Coffee Shop in Washington State

This morning four police officers for the city of Lakewood, Washington were murdered in cold blood.  The police officers, three men and one woman, were sitting in a Tacoma coffee shop before the start of their shift.  They were having coffee, doing paperwork and reading their laptops when the perpetrator entered the coffee shop and opened fire, killing all four.  The scene of the crime was Forza Coffee shop at 11401 Steele Street South, Tacoma, Washington 98499.  (Apparently, the coffee shop is located in an unincorporated area known as Parkland.)

The coffee shop is right on the edge of McChord Air Force Base (see map).  The coffee shop in Tacoma is only 3 miles from the Lakewood Police Department, a 7 minute drive.  Lakewood is a separate city adjacent to Tacoma.

Per witness reports, the punk escaped on foot.  He is described as a black man with scruffy facial hair, in his 20's or 30's, 5'7" to 5'10", wearing a black coat and blue jeans.
There is a $10,000 reward offered for information that leads to the killer. Call the Lakewood Police if you have any information about this crime: (253) 830-5000. You may also email  them at:
If you live in the area, keep your eyes open for someone matching the above description.

Discussion:  Since the sole perpetrator was a young man, I am wondering about his motives.  There was no apparent motive for the attack; the perp seemed to just want to kill cops in general.  Some possibilities:  he was undergoing a gang initiation; he was just plain nuts, or he was a Muslim terrorist.  Was he really an American black man, as witnesses have described him, or was he of middle eastern descent?

The only Muslim organization I can find nearby is just ten miles from the coffee shop.  This is not to imply any connection, but the possibility of a connection ought to be on any police short list.  Could this have been a Fort Hood copycat crime?  The crime was committed right next to a U.S. air base -- could the perp have been a terrorist looking for military personnel to kill, and finding none, decided on the police officers instead?

Photo:  Police investigating the crime at Forza's in Tacoma, Washington.

Update:  Video

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