A Washington state sheriff’s deputy who was shot while answering a domestic dispute call on Dec. 21 became the sixth area law-enforcement officer to be killed in recent months.
Deputy Walter “Kent” Mundell Jr. had been on life support since he and his partner, Sgt. Nick Hausner responded to an altercation between two brothers. One of the brothers went upstairs, retrieved a gun and came back firing, according to The Seattle Times. Both officers were wounded, but the more severely wounded Mundell was able to fire back and kill his shooter. Hausner was treated at a hospital and released.
On Monday, Mundell was surrounded by family and fellow officers when life support was detached.
The 44-year-old officer, a nine-year veteran of the force, leaves a wife and two children, a 16-year-old and a 10-year-old, according to a sheriff's department release. He is the sixth police officer in the Seattle area to die in the line of duty over the past three months.
Seattle Police officer Timothy Brenton, 39, was shot to death in his car on Halloween night while sitting in his patrol car. He had been reviewing paperwork from a traffic stop when someone blasted him. Brenton’s trainee was also wounded in the shooting. A suspect was arrested and charged with murder and an earlier arson attack that destroyed four police cruisers. He has pleaded not guilty.
In the deadliest police attack in state history, four policemen from Lakewood, Wash., just south of Seattle, were ambushed and shot to death at a coffee shop. The suspect, Maurice Clemmons, was shot and killed by police two days later.
Mundell will be honored by his colleagues next month in a ceremony at the Tacoma Dome, the same location where several thousand people this month attended a funeral for the the slain Lakewood officers, according Pierce County Sheriff's Department spokesman Ed Troyer.
"We are all worn out," Troyer said.
In a statement, Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire said, "Though his life was cut far too short by this act of violence, [Mundell’s] memory will live on in the many people he protected and served. I stand with law enforcement from across the state as we honor this fallen hero."