The blog of Xeno, a slightly mad scientist
Four police officers have been shot dead in an ambush at a coffee shop in Washington State, police say.
Officials said at least one gunman walked into a coffee shop in Parkland, near the McChord Air Force Base, and opened fire.
A sheriff’s spokesman said the officers had been targeted and it was not believed to have been a robbery.
Other customers were in the coffee shop at the time but no-one else was injured in the attack.
Parkland is in Pierce County, 40 miles south of Seattle.
Pierce County Sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said the officers had been working on their laptops in the coffee shop when the shooting happened on Sunday morning.
“It was just a flat out ambush,” he said. “None of the employees or any of the people inside the store were targeted or hit or wounded.
“So we believe this was a cold, calculated killing of four police officers.”
First reports said there had been two gunmen but Mr Troyer told the BBC he now believed there was only one.
He said the suspect is a black male in his late 20s or early 30s who was scruffy, wearing a black coat and blue jeans.
Families of the four officers were being informed.
Theron Zahn, of KOMO-TV, told the BBC that a huge police operation involving hundreds of officers was under way.
“Police helicopters are in the air using their infra-red cameras for anyone who may be hiding nearby. It is a massive manhunt.”
Police are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the gunmen.