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We lost our brothers and sister yesterday. We have not slept and to be honest I do not know what more I am able to do. I do not want to sleep; we want this criminal brought to justice. Like my members with attest I will sit at my computer and write to them when I need to put it out there. Tonight I will write to them and anyone else who will listen about our four heroes. I will not get into why this suspect was out on the streets in this writing but that time will come. Instead I would like to share a couple comments about our friends who were taken away from us and their loved ones. I have never cried like I have over the past 16 hours and I hope sharing a couple things about these individuals will bring those citizens we are truly proud to serve closer to us.
All of us started together with the exception of Mark who came on a couple months later. Mark is that guy who is the go to guy for everything. He was the most competent and tactically proficient man I ever knew in police work. I do not say this because he was killed and that is something you should say. Everyone in our department and all who knew Mark know this was true. He simply could take any training situation and make it work no matter what group he was teaching. This was the last guy any of us thought would have died like this. There is no doubt in my mind he did not see anything coming.
As the Range master I went to Mark for advice on how to train our officers on the range. Mark never belittled anyone but he was a true east coast guy. He told it how he saw it and you always knew where you stood with him. Mark was on the LPIG E board and was the savviest negotiator I have ever met. I know for sure every attorney in our law firm is weeping today, I will save the attorney jokes but I am being honest. To the members of Metro SWAT we can only cry with you, you all know what we know when it comes to Mark. Mark had that spark that made you like him and respect him. He was truly a rock in our department, someone you always counted on. Mark has three kids and a great wife that the toughest cop I knew softly spoke about. Mark is in heaven standing guard at the gate. I know this is true.
Ronald Owens, or Ronnie to all of us, was the laid back dirt bike riding, surfer hair having cop, you would always want at a party or with you on any call. Though he had a laid back perspective he was sharp and an extremely dedicated and hard worker. Ronnie was a go to guy for having a friend in any business that could help us out. Ronnie enjoyed riding with us at Tahuya State Park and in fact we were just setting up another ride next week, his personality made everyone around him feel positive. I can get worked up about politics pretty quickly. Ronnie was my calm down guy, an even keel who was able to put a perspective on things with few words. Ronnie has a beautiful little daughter. We love you brother.
Tina was our conservative friend. She was excited to be a part of the Olympia Tea Parties and proudly stated why she got involved in politics over the past year. Tina was sharp too, only a couple mornings ago we had a great discussion on the future of our Republic and how we felt true limited government conservatives should take back out political party. If you wanted any details over the massive government spending she would have them for you. If anyone thinks these comments are off color then you did not know Tina well. She would tell you where you could go and like Mark you always knew where you stood with her. She was the toughest little cop I have ever known. Tina has two children and a husband who loves her deeply. My gut hurts that I missed your Halloween party this year. Your memory and strength will help guide our movement to retake our party, this I promise you.
Greg Richards was the drummer in a rock band you would never know was a drummer in a rock band. Greg was a great cop who cared about one thing above all else, his family. He was a proud dad to three kids and wanted nothing more than to spend all of his time off with his wife and kids. Greg and I spent some one on one time together recently at an overtime assignment where he talked mostly about his family, he was obviously so proud. I will always remember this summer when you and your band rocked the house for our member with all proceeds going to charity when he was in the hospital. Yantzerpaloza will take on new meaning for us in the coming years. For someone who does not have much hair, you helped me put it down for a night.
As our Department weeps we know our brothers and sisters are in a place where people don’t come in a calm place and take your life because of the shield you wear or the basic oath we took. This will never make sense to us, it can’t. There will never be an explanation that works that will heal us. We can simply hope to take this senseless act of evil and turn it around to motivate our other officers, elected officials, and our entire community to keep make sure these parolees stay in prison and our communities stay safe. These predators who should be locked up commit the bulk of all of the crime against us. We will make sure your families are taken care of and do everything in our power to give your children a college education. God bless you Mark, Greg, Tina, and Ronnie boy. We cannot stop crying and we cannot stop hurting right now. WE love you all.
Brian D. Wurts, President
Lakewood Police Independent Guild