Police said the suspect in the shootings walked up to the counter as if to place an order, then pulled a gun out of his coat and began firing. In a last ditch effort to stop the attack, one of the officers was said to have struggled with the shooter, fighting him out the door of the coffee shop, and possibly getting off a few shots at the gunman, until the officer was shot and killed.
Troyer said over the weekend that the officers were working on their laptops, preparing for the start of their shifts when the shooting started.
"There were marked patrol cars outside and they were all in uniform," Troyer said.
The officers were identified as:
• Sgt. Mark Renninger, 39. He had 13 years of law enforcement experience, and is survived by a wife and 3 children.
• Officer Ronald Owen, 37. He had 12 years of law enforcement experience, and is survived for his former wife and a daughter.
• Officer Tina Griswold, 40. She had 14 years of law enforcement experience, and is survived by her husband and two children.
• Officer Greg Richards, 42. He had eight years of law enforcement experience, and is survived by his wife and three children.
Troyer estimated that a couple of hundred officers from the Washington State Patrol and multiple surrounding police agencies in the area were at the crime scene, with some coming on their own time.
Two employees and a few other customers were in the shop during the attack. All were being interviewed by the Pierce County Sheriff's investigators.
"Some are in shock. They are very upset," Troyer said. "They are the ones who are going to put together for us how this happened."
The Forza Coffee Shop, part of a popular local chain, is on a side street near McChord Air Force Base in Tacoma, about 35 miles south of Seattle. The shop is in a small retail center alongside two restaurants, a cigar store and a nail salon.
Brad Carpenter, founder and owner of Forza Coffee, said his staff was OK and being interviewed by police, and that his main concern was for the families of the police officers.
"I'm a retired police officer, so this really hits close to home for me," said Carpenter, of nearby Gig Harbor.
Troyer said the Lakewood officers were two blocks outside their jurisdiction, and the coffee shop was a popular place for officers from surrounding jurisdictions to meet and share information.
ABC News' Megan Clark and The Associated Press contributed to this story.