Police Focus on Maurice Clemmons Accomplices After Cop Killer Fatally Shot
Hero police officer Benjamin Kelly won the confrontation with Maurice Clemmons.
Dec. 1, 2009— -- Hours after the gunman accused of killing four Washington cops was gunned down in a confrontation with a lone officer on patrol, investigators have rolled up a growing network of friends and families who helped the shooter evade arrest for two days.
Police in Pierce County have so far made four arrests and expect more by the day's end. They say friends and family provided suspected cop killer Maurice Clemmons, 37, with cell phones, money, hideouts and car rides -- even calling in fake tips to throw police off his trail.
Due in court today are Douglas Davis, Eddie Davis and Rickey Hinton. Police have not said what their connection is to Clemmons, but all are charged with four counts of first-degree criminal assistance, a charge applied to those accused of aiding a murder suspect. Bail was initially set for all three at $20,000.
Clemmons' sister, police said today, was also one of the people detained in Pierce County, which has jurisdiction over the shooting of the Lakewood officers at a coffee shop. She is accused of helping provide her brother with medical treatment for a gunshot wound to the abdomen he suffered in the coffee shop shoot out.
Clemmons was killed early today after a confrontation with Seattle police officer Benjamin L. Kelly, who was on patrol alone.
Seattle Police Detective Renee Witt told ABCNews.com today that that officer "fired several times" and that they believe Clemmons was hit at least twice.
Witt said Kelly opened fire after Clemmons reached into his pocket, ignoring the officer's commands to show his hands.
A handgun, with a serial number matching that of a firearm missing from one of the slain Lakewood officers, was found in the pocket Clemmons was reaching for, she said.
"It was incredible police work. He's an incredible officer. He is nothing short of a hero, although he would bristle at being called that," Rich O'Neill, president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild, told ABC News affiliate KOMO.
Seattle police spokesman Jim Pugel said at a news conference today that Clemmons died a short time later in an ambulance.
"Right now it's just a feeling of relief," Pugel said. "Another tragic time has come upon all of us and we're just glad it's over."
Pugel said there was no indication that Clemmons had any ties to the neighborhood where he was killed or that he had been inside any of the nearby homes. Police were unsure this morning where the car had been stolen from.
Seattle police had been watching several homes, with officers assigned to watch each location, authorities said today.
At the time of the shooting, authorities had been conducting a systematic raid on the homes of Clemmons' known friends, family and associates, trying to eliminate the suspect's sources of aid, one by one.
It was the misleading tips, police said, that led police and SWAT members to surround a Seattle home for 11 hours Sunday night into Monday.
The standoff in Seattle's Leschi neighborhood ended Monday morning when a police robot and SWAT members confirmed that Clemmons had been able to flee the area undetected.
Authorities say Clemmons had no ties to the house he was believed to have been hiding in and that they believe he was dropped off in the neighborhood Sunday evening.
The area was described as hilly and wooded, providing lots of hiding places.