PARKLAND, Wash. - Three Pierce County Sheriff's deputies arrived at the Forza Coffee Shop in Parkland shortly after it opened on Tuesday. They made the special trip in honor of four fallen officers, who were gunned down inside the shop two years ago today.
"I just want to honor their memory and never forget what happened," said Deputy Gary Nicholson.
In the early morning hours on November 29, 2009, Maurice Clemmons walked into the Forza Coffee Shop and opened fire on four deputies who were meeting before work. All four, Srgt. Mark Renninger, Officers Tina Griswold, Greg Richards and Ronald Owens were killed. Maurice Clemmons was shot and killed by a Seattle Police officer a few days later.
"This is the first time I've come to the coffee shop since it happened," said Deputy Nicholson. He had close ties with the officers, Ronald Owens was his brother-in-law and best man at his wedding and Srgt. Mark Renninger was his neighbor.
"This is the job we chose to do, and we have to remember the four officers who died in the line of duty," added Nicholson.
A couple of miles away, volunteers started lining up at the Lakewood Police Department. A food drive to benefit the community was set up in honor of the Fallen Four and other officers who died in the line of duty.
"We wanted to do something positive on this anniversary, it's important for us to remember but to also focus on the positive," said Lakewood Police Chief Bret Farrar.
Joining in the food drive, family members of those officers who were killed. Kim Renninger, widow of Srgt. Mark Renninger, was one of the first to arrive. She says helping out eases the pain of her loss. She also says this is why her husband became a police officer, to help the community.
They hope to collect 50,000 pounds of food and $50,000. All of it will go to needy families and organizations in Pierce County.
"While this is a devestating day it's also an inspirational one now too," said Farrar.