War on police continues: Officer, 41, gunned down in Starbucks parking lot – second cop murdered in the area in past week

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EVERETT, WA- The war on police took a deadly turn Friday when an Everett, Washington police officer was gunned down in the parking lot of a Starbucks in the area of Everett Community College, Herald.net reports.

This is the second officer murdered in this area in just the past nine days since March 16

Police sources say the suspect, who initially fled, was apprehended a short time later.

Ironically, the killing happened on the same day that mourners were paying their final respects to a murdered Pierce County sheriff’s deputy, Deputy Dominique “Dom” Calata, 35, who was shot and killed last week during a SWAT operation, KOMO reported.

According to a witness George LaBauve who lives nearby, he heard a number of gunshots at around 2:15 p.m. When he looked outside, he saw a uniformed police officer lying on the ground in the Starbucks parking lot. The business is located across the street from the college.

He saw the shooter tuck a gun, then get in a blue Mini Cooper and fled the area, running the mortally wounded officer over while tearing off the back bumper of the car in the process, LaBauve recalled. He said the vehicle left at a high rate of speed.

The outlet reported that sheriff’s deputies from the Snohomish County Sheriffs Office placed a yellow sheet over the deceased officer’s body at approximately 2:30 p.m.

At about the same time police said, the suspect was involved in a multi-vehicle crash involving a white van and another vehicle about 2.5 miles south of the shooting. The impact caused the van to roll onto its side, while the other two vehicles—though sustaining significant damage—had damage to their front ends.

According to Everett police officer Kerby Duncan, police took the suspect, who has not been identified, into custody.

Investigators from the Snohomish County Multiple Agency Response Team responded to both the scene of the shooting as well as the accident scene. That team is a group of detectives who investigate major events in the area.

Due to the seriousness of the event, the community college went into a brief lockdown. In addition, WSU Everett was also evacuated and closed, police said.

On Friday evening, authorities released the identity of the murdered police officer, KOMO reported. He was identified as 41-year-old Officer Dan Rocha, who has been with the department since 2017. As of 5:20 p.m. PDT Friday, the identity of the suspect had not been released.

In a social media post, the Everett Police Department wrote the following:

“He served the City of Everett as a patrol officer in North Everett for most of his career and was well respected by both the community and his fellow officers. His loss will forever leave a void in our agency and our community.”

Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers released the following statement:

“Our hearts ache for the family, friends, and colleagues of the fallen officer,” it read.

“On behalf of Snohomish County, we offer our deepest condolences to the entire community shaken by this loss of life, and those police officers who will be out keeping our community safe, even under the shadow of this tragedy. We will provide any support the City of Everett needs and call on everyone to take a moment to honor the people who are here to serve and protect.”

The city of Everett is located about 29 miles north of Seattle along Puget Sound.

This is a breaking story. Law Enforcement Today will update as more information becomes available.

https://fundourpolice.com/

For more on the shooting that took the young Pierce County deputy’s life, we invite you to read our report on that incident:

DIG DEEPER

TACOMA, WA – Tragedy struck in on Tuesday in Spanaway on Tuesday. When SWAT team members were attempting to arrest a man in connection with an ongoing investigation pertaining to a felony assault with a firearm, the 40-year-old suspect opened fire, striking two Pierce County Sheriff’s Deputies.

Officers on scene returned fire, killing the suspect. That man’s name has not been released.

According to the Associated Press, he was a convicted felon, and it was believed that the warrant they were serving for a second-degree felony would qualify him for the “three strikes” law. A conviction would have guaranteed him a life sentence.

He refused to surrender peacefully, barricading himself inside a mobile home before starting the ensuing exchange of gunfire.

At a Tuesday press conference, Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer discussed the condition of his two deputies.

Deputy Rich Scaniffe, 45, went through surgery to repair his injuries. He is in serious condition but was expected survive. The extent of his injuries is unknown.

Scaniffe has been with the department for 21 years. He is a patrol sergeant for the Mountain detachment and commands the SWAT team. He is married and has a daughter.

The other deputy is Dominique Calata, 35. He was transported to St. Joseph’s Medical Center in “grave condition.”

“We’re told that we need to prepare for the worst,” Troyer said. “Everybody’s praying for a miracle.”

Sadly, the miracle everyone was hoping for did not come. Calata passed away on Wednesday. He had been with the Sheriff’s office for 6 years and was an Army veteran. He is survived by his wife and a 4-year-old son.

“We are heartbroken to inform our community that Deputy Dom Calata has passed away. Our department members remain grateful for the outpouring of support we have received. Please keep Deputy Calata’s family in your prayers during this difficult time. Memorial service details TBD,” is the message tweeted out by the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office.

“These are guys who have a heart for public service,” Troyer said. “It’s a tragedy all the way around.”

His passing was announced over the radio via Pierce County dispatch.

The Seattle Times reported a conversation with a deputy from another county that attended the academy with Calata.

“Chris Barringer, a patrol deputy with the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office in Bend, Oregon, graduated from the police academy with Calata in 2016 and the two remained friends.

Barringer, who served as chief of staff to former King County Sheriff John Urquhart, said Calata was the smartest, most disciplined and well prepared of their classmates — and he was voted the person they would most want to partner with.

‘Everyone wanted Dominique [as a partner], including me,’ Barringer said. ‘He was the best of us.'”

Family and friend were able to make their way to the hospital to say goodbye prior to Clata’s passing.

Those able to see him included the other deputy wounded in the previous day’s shooting.

It has also been reported that Deputy Calata is an organ donor, meaning that even in death, he will be serving others.

The number of law enforcement officers killed by gunfire in the US, less than 3 months into 2022, now stands at 13.

Officer Lane Burns was shot and killed just after midnight on March 17 in Bonne Terre, MO. We will provide detailed coverage of his death later today.

The thoughts and prayers of everyone at Law Enforcement Today are with the family and friends of Deputy Dom Calata during this tragic time.

We are also hoping and praying for a complete recovery of Deputy Rich Scaniffe.

https://fundourpolice.com/

Cop-killer taken out after fatally shooting two officers, wounding a third – one officer donating organs

JOPLIN, MO – Police responded to a disturbance call on Tuesday afternoon that quickly turned deadly.

The 40-year-old subject was killed but not before he inflicted mortal injuries on two Joplin Police Department officers and seriously wounded a third.

Police on Wednesday said Officer Jake Reed would not recover from his injuries and plans were underway for the officer’s heroic actions to bring life to others needing organ transplants.

Reed leaves behind a wife, whom he married in 2021. He began his career with Joplin Police in 2017.

Cpl. Benjamin Cooper succumbed to his injuries Tuesday afternoon. The 19-year veteran of law enforcement is survived by his wife and two daughters.

Police also identified the third officer who was shot as Officer Rick Hirshey. He remains in serious but stable condition.

It started as a disturbance call Tuesday afternoon, when officers responded to the area of 4th St. and Rangeline Road. Once on scene, officers Cooper and Reed contacted the subject, identified as Anthony R. Felix of Joplin.

As the two attempted to take Felix into custody, he shot them and fled the scene in a stolen patrol car. Officers attempted to stop Felix, who fired shots at pursuing officers, striking a patrol vehicle.

Felix then wrecked the patrol car and fled on foot to the area of 9th St. and Connecticut Ave. Officer Hirshey encountered Felix as he was trying to steal another vehicle and Officer Hirshey pulled his patrol vehicle up to box in the suspect and prevent his escape. Felix fired through the patrol car window, striking Officer Hirshey in the face.

Police said that’s when Capt. William Davis left his position of cover and returned fire, fatally striking Felix. If not for his actions, additional officers or citizens could have been killed.

Felix apparently had a history of run-ins with law enforcement. Court records from Arizona show that in 2019, Felix was sentenced to 18 months in prison after being convicted of aggravated assault on a police officer and for physically resisting arrest.

A GoFundMe has been set up by the Joplin Fraternal Order of Police Foundation to support the three officers’ families.

Assistant Police Chief Brian Lewis spoke at a press briefing Tuesday after the incident, explaining:

“As officers attempted to take the subject into custody, he shot two officers and fled the scene in a stolen patrol car.” 

The suspect later crashed the vehicle. He then opened fire a second time and another officer was hit in this exchange. Capt. Davis returned fire, striking Felix and killing him. Capt. Davis was not injured.

The two officers who were injured were transported to a local hospital.

Cpl. Cooper, who also served in the United States Army, was highlighted in a Facebook post by the Joplin Police Department in February of 2020.

In part, that post reads:

“Before joining the Joplin Police Department Cpl. Cooper served in the infantry of the United States Army. Cpl. Cooper is currently assigned to the Professional Standards Bureau to the Internal Affairs Unit. Since joining the Joplin Police Department Cpl. Cooper has served as a patrolman, investigator, firearms instructor, SWAT officer, field training officer, and worked a police canine at a previous police agency.”

Cooper said at the time:

“I enjoy serving the community and am proud to be a Joplin Police Officer.” 

Missouri Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe issued a tweet shortly after the news broke:

“Please join @ClaudiaLKehoe and me in praying for the officers involved in the shooting today in Joplin, as well as for their families and fellow officers.”

Kehoe was not alone in sharing his sadness on Twitter. Law enforcement agencies around the country offered their thoughts as well.

 

From the St. Louis County Police Department:

“The men and women of our Department send our deepest condolences to the Joplin Police Department as they mourn the loss of one of their own. We pray for the two officers who were also injured and the families impacted by this tragedy,” 

Statements were issued from numerous local agencies and from departments in New York and Texas.

Constable Herman and his office know all too well what this moment feels like and what it does to a department and a community. It was just last October when Precinct 4 Deputy Kareem Atkins was shot and killed, and two others were injured in the Houston area.

Law Enforcement Today sends their thoughts and prayers to the families, both blood and badge, of the three officers who were shot. We wish a speedy and complete recovery to the two hospitalized JPD officers.


Police veteran sounds the alarm: ‘Make no mistake – there is a war on cops right now in America’

February 19, 2022

The National Police Association spokeswoman and 29-year police veteran tells Fox News that there is a very real war on cops right now in the country.

Her bold statement comes as the nation saw 13 officers from different agencies shot in the line of duty in 24 hours.

 

The spokeswoman, Betsy Brantner Smith, also sits on the Board of Advisors for Law Enforcement Today.

She spoke to Fox News while reacting to the latest string of violence against police officers. Smith said:

“This is what we call the war on cops. We [police] are constantly attacked, and we are either attacked doing very simple things – traffic stop, responding to a 911 call, a domestic. All of that.”

Arizona, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New Mexico all saw police officers shot in the span of 24 hours. Nine of the officers shot were in Phoenix, where they were ambushed by an armed subject.

In that case, Phoenix police officers responded to a shooting at a home near Broadway Road and 51st Street. Responding officers moved in when they learned that there was a woman who was critically injured.

They then saw the suspect, Morris Richard Jones, wave them in.

The officer thought Jones was someone who was trying to get the woman help and moved in.

That’s when Jones opened fire, striking the first officer several times. Later during the ensuing standoff, an infant was placed on the front porch in a carrier.

As officers moved in to rescue the baby, Jones opened fire again, striking additional officers. Officers who were not shot during the incident were injured when they were struck by shrapnel.

Thankfully, the nine officers who were injured during this received non-life-threatening injuries. Jones was found later after he committed suicide.

 

In Maryland, two police officers from the Frederick Police Department were shot and wounded when they responded to a man acting strangely in the area of Key Parkway and Waverly Drive.

As officers responded, dispatchers advised them the suspect was armed.

Shortly after the officers arrived on the scene, the suspect, identified as Dominque Lewis, began to walk away from the officers when they ordered him to show his hands.

As he walked away, he abruptly turned around and opened fire on the officers with a .45 caliber handgun, striking each in the torso.

The officers were able to return fire, striking Lewis in the torso. All three were transported to a local hospital and thankfully both officers have already been released.

Lewis, who is expected to recover, faces several charges, including attempted murder of a police officer.

 

In New Mexico, a police officer was shot and wounded during a vehicle pursuit. This incident started when the New Mexico State Police Officer responded to a female who had locked herself in a bathroom.

When the officer arrived at the scene, the woman, later identified as Alanna Martinez, had gotten into a vehicle with her boyfriend, Caleb Elledge.

The officer approached the pair to ensure they were okay when Elledge allegedly rammed the officer’s marked police vehicle and sped away from the area.

The officer pursued Elledge and ended up performing a PIT maneuver to end the vehicle pursuit. When both vehicles stopped, Elledge allegedly exited his vehicle and opened fire on the officer, striking him in the neck. The officer was able to return fire as Elledge and Martinez fled on foot.

 

The officer was transported to a nearby hospital, where he was treated for what appears to be non-life-threatening injuries. Both Elledge and Martinez were taken into custody on February 12 without incident.

Then in Pennsylvania, a Philadelphia Police SWAT officer was shot during execution of a search warrant. Fox 29 reports that the SWAT team breached the apartment and were met with gunfire from one of the suspects inside.

One of the SWAT officers was struck when the suspect fired his weapon, but thankfully, the rounds impacted his bullet-resistant vest, which stopped them.

Thankfully, the officer was not severely injured from the attack and the suspect was taken into custody.

Smith noted the significant increase in violence toward police officers as her reasoning for claiming there is a war on police. She said that while police have always known there is a risk they may be killed every time they walk out the door, it is seemingly worse now because of anti-police rhetoric. She said:

“When you constantly tell people that this one entity – somebody in a blue or a bright green uniform – is dangerous to you and that you should resist them, of course, we’re going to have increased attacks on law enforcement. And unfortunately, not only has it become a big media issue, but it’s become a huge political issue.”

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