Monday, December 28, 2009

Another Fallen Officer

Officer Kent Mundell shot multiple times a week ago today while on a domestic violence call near Eatonville died this evening. With family, friends and fellow officers present, Mundell's life support was terminated and slowly the life drained out of this valiant man.

With this dramatic news comes the prospect of yet another funeral service for an officer in this state. It will be the third such service in less than two months. The cumulative effect of the losses of now six officers within this short span of time has taken it's toll on our community. The heaviness is almost palpable in the air.

I can still clearly see this officer's face as he stood on our porch sometime last year. Working on yet another drug case trying to keep our neighborhood safe Mundell was asking my husband and I if we'd seen a particular vehicle travelling the road in front of our farm .

Having met the man adds a surreal element to this event it is difficult to describe. While I didn't know him well, I was touched by his genuine caring and professionalism. Hearing that he had killed his attacker defending another officer and two private citizens despite being gravely wounded did not surprise me. It fits with the persona of the man I met on my porch that day.

Not only Pierce County but the law enforcement community as a whole and the communilty at large has suffered a great loss today. My heart goes out to his family, friends and all those who knew him well.


  1. Oh, golly, MiKael...I'm still reeling from the first four. What the heck is going on?

  2. What a horrible thing to have happen. Our thoughts and prayers are with every fallen officer, especially this holiday season. Senseless tragedy.

  3. Actually, Tracey, this is the sixth officer to die in two months. There was the killing of the officer in Seattle on Halloween, followed by the killing of the four officers in Lakewood, and now this officer has died from the Eatonville shooting.

    Thankfully an officer in training survived the ambush in Seattle and an officer survived the Eatonville attack thanks to the heroics of this officer who died today.

    As for what the heck is going on.........I wish I knew. Pretty scary stuff.

    Mikey, you are so right. All of these have been totally senseless tragedies.

  4. Oh that makes me so sad to hear. I work for the police, so it hits close to home.

    An officer was stabbed and killed here in my city last night. Terrible...

  5. *tips head in respect to the memory of this officer*

    Tracey, this was a domestic violence call. This is the single most dangerous call I ever send my guys on (I'm a dispatcher with the PA State Police). During a domestic, emotions often run high and out of control, lots of times there are weapons, drugs and/or drinking involved (which makes things far worse as it lowers inhibitions or alters perceptions) and officers must be even more careful than usual because there are often other people in the same room, or nearby.

    ANY holiday, but especially Christmas is even more toxic because of fractured families and the power struggle over kids. When you add up high emotions, drinking/drugging, not getting the kids when you are supposed to it's a volatile combination and then an authority figure (the cop) steps in and it seems to up the ante even more.

    I don't know exactly what happened in this particular incident but my guess would be a combination of at least some of the circumstances above.

    again, thank you MiKael for the tribute, I am sure his family....both in uniform and out, are struggling with his death right now.

  6. Laura, sorry to hear that your community lost an officer yesterday as well. How devastating for the law enforcement community.

    Holly, Tracey lives here in Washington also. With three seperate ambushes on police since Halloween, the entire state feels pretty beleagured by the events. Seems like most any person I talk to has that same question, "What's going on?" because this seems like some kind of craziness, the world spinning out of control.

    As for details, This is what I understand happened. There was alcohol involved and a child and the family was known to police because of domestic violence disturbances. The teenage daughter of the shooter has been living with her uncle. Her father showed up angry and drunk so the police were called to removed him from the premises.

    When they arrived, the drunk man pretended to calm down and said he would leave quietly with the officers but he first needed to get a couple things from another room. He came out walked across the room. Then pulled a gun out he was hiding under some clothes in his hands and opened fire shooting both officers before turning the gun towards his daughter. It was at that point the officer who died yesterday returned fire.

    Then the uncle and the daughter pulled the other injured officer into another room while the drunk and the other officer shot it out. The man and girl had the presence of mind to administer first aid with the guns blaring. Then the daughter climbed out and went for help.

    From the comments made by the police, I think they believe the actions of the uncle and the daughter saved the life of the second officer and the actions of the gravely injured officer returning fire saved the daughter and maybe even the uncle.

    I couldn't believe my eyes or ears as TV programming was interrupted with the news that officers had again been ambushed. My heart sank. I cannot imagine what it must have been like as the law enforcement community must have collectively held their breath to hear who it was of their commrades/family had been attacked.

    Healing is going to be a long time coming in this state for all of us.

  7. That is just so horrific. What is the world coming to???!