Tragedy in Washington: Four Police Officers Slain at Coffeehouse

I’ve come to know some of the enthusiastic baristas who work at Forza, a local chain of cafes in Washington, through their participation in the Millrock Latte Art Competitions. Theirs are faces I’m always excited to see coming back to the competition—these baristas get better and better every time, and the cheering section for what is now known as “Team Forza” always seems to grow bigger.

It’s with a heavy heart that I think of them now, as we have been shocked and incredibly saddened by the horrific news of a deadly shooting at Forza’s cafe Parkland, Wash., which happened yesterday morning. On Sunday, a gunman killed Lakewood, Wash., police Sgt. Mark Renninger, 39; and Officers Ronald Owens, 37; Tina Griswold, 40; and Greg Richards, 42.

“As a retired police officer, this senseless shooting hits extremely close to home to me,” Brad Carpenter, who is Cheif Executive Officer of Forza Coffee, says in a press statement posted to Forza’s website. “These officers put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe, and this crime cuts deep into the heart of the entire Forza family.”

According to news report, the four officers were regulars at the Forza cafe, and were enjoying a morning coffee while catching up on their laptops, before beginning a shift, when the incident occured. Police are calling the shooting a “targeted, selective ambush.” All four officers were in full uniform and wearing bulletproof vests.

Sergeant Mark Renninger was 39 years old and had 13 years of law enforcement experience. He is survived by his wife and three children.

Officer Ronald Owen was 37 and had 12 years of law enforcement experience. He is survived by his former wife and a daughter.

Officer Tina Griswold was 40 with 14 years of law enforcement experience. She is survived by her husband and two children.

Officer Greg Richards was 42 and had eight years of law enforcement experience. He is survived by his wife and three children.

Forza Coffee has set up a donation site on their homepage: visit it here to make a contribution to the families of the slain officers. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.

About the Author

Sarah

Sarah Allen is co-founder and editor of Barista Magazine, the international trade magazine for coffee professionals. A passionate advocate for baristas, quality, and the coffee community, Sarah has traveled widely to research stories, interact with readers, and present on a variety of topics affecting specialty coffee. She also loves animals, swimming, ice cream, and living in Portland, Oregon.