LAKEWOOD, Wash. - Four Lakewood police officers lost their lives Sunday morning when a gunman opened fire on them as they sat in a Parkland coffee shop preparing to begin their shifts.
The city of Lakewood says the officers were original members of the police department that formed five years ago.
According to the Pierce County Sheriff's Department, the slain officers have been identified as 39-year-old Sergeant Mark Renninger, 37-year-old Officer Ronald Owen, 40-year-old Officer Tina Griswold and 42-year-old Officer Greg Richards.
Renninger, a 13-year law enforcement veteran, was a dedicated family man with a wife and three children.
"Mark was a professional dedicated police officer who made the ultimate sacrifice. More so, he was a loving devoted father husband and family member who will be missed by many," said his brother, Matt, a retired police officer.
"I thanked him. Told him what a great job he was doing in Lakewood. When they showed his picture, it shocked me," said Pete Davis, who spoke with Renninger last week.
Davis also knew Griswold, wife and mother of two children. She was a 14- year police veteran and well loved by those she knew. She was rewarded a medal for saving a life this past summer.
"I know she is a special person that is loved by tons and tons of people around here. She is really active," said Davis.
Griswold began her career as a Reserve Mason County Deputy Sheriff. She was also a Dispatcher for MCSO and Shelton Police Dept., and she was a Shelton Police Officer before going to Lacey PD.
Her husband is also a former Mason County Sheriff's Deputy. Her father retired after 20 years as a Mason County Sheriff's Office Jail Officer.
Owens, a 12-year veteran, also has a wife and a daughter. One man who was shaken by the news said Owens was a good officer who never took unnecessary risks.
Richards, an 8-year veteran, was a husband and father of three kids.
At the police station, officers are too upset to speak about the loss. The flag was lowered to half staff in remembrance the worst loss this young department has ever suffered.
“All four of our slain officers had been with this department since it started five years ago. Sergeant Mark Renninger and Officers Ronald Owens, Tina Griswold, and Greg Richards were police veterans when they started and all have been outstanding professionals," said Lakewood Police Chief Bret Farrar in a press release. "This is a very difficult time for our families and our officers. The families will have many challenges ahead of them and we ask that their privacy be respected. Please keep our families and Lakewood Police in your prayers.”
Those interested in supporting the families of the slain officers are welcome to make a donation through the Lakewood Police Independent Guild (LPIG) Benevolent Fund at PO Box 99579, Lakewood, WA 98499.