Despite early reports that he may already be dead from his wounds, the man suspected of gunning down four Washington state police officers Sunday is apparently still on the run. SWAT teams had spent the early morning hours camped outside of his house thinking he was inside.
Maurice Clemmons is suspected of ambushing the four Lakewood officers in a coffee shop Sunday morning. Police tracked him down to his house in Seattle and then spent several hours trying to communicate with him. Only he wasn't there.
Seattle police spokesman Jeff Kappel said there was evidence Clemmons at one point was on the property, but officers could not determine if he was in the house itself. Kappel would not describe what the evidence was, but said it was a "good tip" that led them to the home.
Pierce County sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer said it's possible Clemmons could still be in the neighborhood. Troyer also said people who know Clemmons told investigators he had been shot in the torso in his bloody struggle with the officers.
"If he didn't get a ride out of there, he could still be in the area," Troyer said.
Police say Clemmons walked into the coffee shop, ordered a drink then opened fire. Investigators say they know of no reason for gunning down the officers, but court documents indicate Clemmons is delusional and mentally unstable.
Clemmons has a lengthy criminal history, including a 95-year prison sentence that was commuted by then-Arkansas governor and former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee nearly a decade ago. The suspect also has a recent arrest for allegedly assaulting a police officer and raping a child in Washington.
If Clemmons is responsible for the quadruple homicide, Huckabee will likely face questions -- fair or not -- about why he granted clemency to such an individual. In a statement on his Web site, Huckabee wrote:
"Should he be found to be responsible for this horrible tragedy, it will be the result of a series of failures in the criminal justice system in both Arkansas and Washington state."