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Seattle Police Department on trail of Maurice Clemmons; Update: Family reportedly aiding Clemmons; Update: Seattle PD officer fatally shoots Clemmons; Update: Suspected getaway driver is former Ark. cellmate

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By Michelle Malkin  •  November 30, 2009 03:40 PM

Scroll for updates…police cancel search for Clemmons’ wife’s Mazda…sold 2 months ago, according to KIRO TV…Outrageous: Family reportedly assisting fugitive Clemmons…12/1 8am Eastern…Clemmons is dead, shot in South Seattle by SPD…more on the accomplices and enablers below…

I’ve been monitoring the SPD police scanner throughout the day. There have been many dead ends. Chatter and action is picking up after a call this afternoon from a citizen who reportedly discovered bloody gauze and an abandoned vehicle. Officers are headed to the scene. Scanner chatter reports that someone also spotted a black male on foot and bleeding.

More as it comes in.

Tacoma News Tribune’s crime blog is monitoring.

Seattle Times reports that police are also seeking Clemmons’ wife and car. They believe she may be headed to…Arkansas:

Police are looking for the wife of suspected cop killer Maurice Clemmons, and have told officers to be on the lookout for her car, possibly headed to Arkansas.

Notice went out about 12:15 p.m. for officers to be on the lookout for a green 1997 Mazda Millenia with Washington license plate 208-SSX, registered to Clemmons’ wife, Nicole Cheryleen Smith.

It wasn’t immediately clear what caused police to focus on Smith and her car. Someone who answered the door at her Tacoma home this morning declined to speak to a Times reporter.

Police had spent the morning chasing reports about Clemmons after the house they had surrounded overnight turned up empty.

Why are people such morons in times of crisis?! Hoaxsters interfere with police hunt:

When the 911 calls started coming in, officers from Lakewood, Tacoma and other jurisdictions raced to the area.

“I have never seen this many scramble to a particular spot, ever,” said David Gabrielson, 27, who works as clerk at a gas station near the coffee shop.

An apparent hoax came when a man called 911, claiming to be the shooter. Police took the man into custody at a Parkland house, but he was not linked to the crime, Troyer said.

A second likely hoax came after a Tacoma man called his girlfriend and some other people and falsely claimed responsibility for the shooting, Troyer said. The man has since been arrested on suspicion of obstructing a police investigation.

That hoax sparked the search of vehicles parked outside Evergreen Self Storage, a facility near the shooting scene. The Pierce County bomb squad was dispatched to the storage facility.

Authorities remained on edge all day. At one point, Troyer, who was carrying an assault rifle, told members of the media, “this is kind of a hot area, so you’re kind of on your own.”

Heavily armed police on Sunday surrounded the Tacoma home of Clemmons’ wife, not far from the shooting scene. It didn’t appear anyone was home. Later Sunday night they served a search warrant at the home.

Troyer said police found a GPS ankle bracelet during a search of a house where Clemmons was believed to have been staying. Clemmons was required to wear an ankle bracelet under terms of his recent release.

Troyer said if the gunman was shot, he could be traveling some distance to get care. Troyer suggested the man may try to visit a medical facility and claim he had suffered an accidental gunshot wound.

***

Update 4:31pm Eastern. Via scanner chatter, it appears that a possible lead on Clemmons’ wife’s car has turned up empty. Police still waiting for a dog. Blood is still liquid, says an officer over the scanner.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer has an interview with one of Clemmons’ Arkansas victims who minces no words about the “little bastard” who should “still be in prison.”

Update 9:31pm Eastern. Seattle PD says Clemmons’ family and friends are aiding him on the run. A monster and his many enablers:

Police have surrounded a house in the Renton area tonight as they continue the hunt for suspected cop killer Maurice Clemmons.

A relative of Clemmons lives at the house and was taken into custody, but authorities are still looking for Clemmons, according a law enforcement source.

The relative is believed to have helped Clemmons elude capture, the source said.

Clemmons has been getting help and shelter from friends and relatives since shortly after the Sunday morning shooting deaths of four Lakewood police officers, authorities have concluded.

“Basically, there’s no way that he could be doing this by himself; he was shot in the abdomen,” said Sheri Badger, Pierce County spokeswoman at the incident command center.

Also frustrating to law-enforcement officers is that Clemmons reportedly told acquaintances the night before the attack to “watch the news” because he was going to “kill cops.”"

No one reported his comments to police until after the attack, Badger said.

***

12/1 8am Eastern. Clemmons is dead. SPD found him in South Seattle early this morning and fatally shot him:

Maurice Clemmons, the suspect wanted in slaying of four Lakewood police officers, was shot and killed in South Seattle early this morning.

Clemmons was standing outside in the 4400 block of South Kenyon Street when he was confronted by officers. He challenged the officers and was shot around 2:40 a.m.

No police were injured in the incident.

At the scene, a couple of dozen police officers milled around, shaking hands and patting each other on the back after one of the largest manhunts in the region’s history.

Clemmons has been the focus of a manhunt since Sunday morning when he is accused of killing four Lakewood police officers in a coffee shop in Parkland.

Police have said Clemmons received help since the Sunday morning shooting from friends and family who gave him places to stay, medical aid, rides and money, police said. Officers detained a sister of Clemmons who they think treated the 37-year-old suspect’s gunshot wound.

Police believe people close to Clemmons have misled officers, and Troyer said anyone helping him could face charges. Clemmons’ sister wasn’t in custody late Monday, and her name wasn’t released.

More details:

Maurice Clemmons, the suspect wanted in slaying of four Lakewood police officers, was shot and killed in South Seattle early this morning.

Clemmons, who reportedly was armed with a handgun taken from one of officers he is accused of killing, was standing outside in the 4400 block of South Kenyon Street when he was confronted by a South Precinct patrol officer. He refused commands to stop was shot by the officer about 2:45 a.m.

According to Seattle Assistant Police Chief Jim Pugel, the officer was on patrol came when he upon a car that had been reported stolen and the car was running.

The officer was in his patrol car processing a stolen vehicle reporter when he noticed a man was approaching the patrol car and recognized him as possibly being Clemmons, Pugel said…

…Troyer said this morning that several people who had been helping Clemmons have been arrested. Among them is a man described as a getaway driver who drove Clemmons from the scene where the four officers were killed.

The Tacoma News Tribune has obtained psych evaluations on Clemmons from last spring:

“I’ll kill all you bitches,” Maurice Clemmons told the Pierce County Jail workers who were trying to book him, according to court records.

It was May 9, 2009. Clemmons, 37, had been arrested after punching a sheriff’s deputy in the face. He was charged with multiple counts of third-degree assault and malicious mischief and later, second-degree child rape.

Clemmons, the prime suspect in the Sunday slayings of four Lakewood police officers, received a court-ordered mental health evaluation tied to the charges filed in May. The evaluation, obtained by The News Tribune, was completed Oct. 19, five weeks before the shootings.

It was one of the factors considered by Thomas Felnagle, the Superior Court judge who set bail for Clemmons at $150,000. County prosecutors say the number was unusually high, given the underlying charges.

The reported threat to kill jail workers appeared in the evaluation, along with notes describing hallucinations. Clemmons said he had them back in May before his arrest. He remembered seeing “people drinking blood and people eating babies, and lawless on the streets, like people were cannibals.”

Those visions had passed, he said.

Two psychologists from Western State Hospital, Melissa Dannelet and Carl Redick, concluded Clemmons was dangerous.

“He presents with increased risk for future dangerous behavior and for committing future criminal acts jeopardizing public safety and security,” the evaluation states.

Those risk factors included “previous violence, young age at first violent incident, relationship instability and prior supervision failure,” Dannelet and Redick wrote.

The Seattle Times give a chilling tick-tock of the Four Days in May that set the stage for the Lakewood massacre.

Clemmons may be dead, but the quest to hold his enablers – all of them — accountable for their action and inaction has only just begun.

***

Here is a list of fund-raising efforts/donation stations to help the families of the Lakewood PD Four.

I spotlighted the statistics on Huckabee’s liberal clemency-mania yesterday. Erick Erickson has more.

Update 1:14pm Eastern. UGH: The getaway driver is believed to be a former cellmate of Clemmons from Arkansas. Via TNT:

The three men – two of whom are brothers – arrested so far in connection with Maurice Clemmons have all been booked into Pierce County Jail on suspicion of four counts of first-degree rendering criminal assistance for first-degree murder.

The third man, 47, is believed to be a half-brother of Clemmons, the Sheriff’s Department reported.

Two others are being detained – the suspected getaway driver, 43, and Clemmons’ sister. The getaway driver is believed to be a former cellmate of Clemmons in Arkansas, according to law enforcement and KIRO TV.

One of those booked into jail is a 20-year-old associate of Clemmons who also was charged with third-degree assault on a Pierce County sheriff’s deputy in May.

The deputy tried to arrest the man and he fought back, according to charging documents. The deputies were evenutally able to gain control over the three.

The 20-year-old man pleaded guilty in September two counts of third-degree assault. He was sentenced to 63 days in jail and ordered to besupervised for two years by DOC.

The man also was convicted in September of conspiracy to possession a controlled substance with the intent to deliver.

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