Accused cop shooter Christopher Monfort, 41, now faces the possibility of the death penalty for planning and executing "his own personal war" against the Seattle Police Department and killing one of its officers, King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg announced today.
Monfort was charged with aggravated first degree murder for the Halloween slaying of Seattle Police Officer Tim Brenton and had "planned to kill as many officers as he could," said Satterberg. Monfort, if convicted, could face either life in prison or the death penalty; Satterberg did not say which sentence his office would pursue.
At a news conference, Satterberg alleged Monfort had planned the murder of other officers. He accused the suspect of breaking into a city maintenance yard on Oct. 22, setting police cars on fires, and leaving behind homemade bombs that were set to explode after the arrival of police and fire crews - but failed to detonate.He left a note at the scene stating "these deaths were the result of his anger," Satterberg said, and that police should prepare for more funerals. Nine days later, on Halloween, he waited and watched Brenton and officer trainee Brett Sweeney complete a south Seattle traffic stop, then drove up and opened fire with a high-powered rifle.
After killing Brenton and wounding Sweeney, he reversed his car and left, dropping an American flag bandanna out the window, similar to a calling card he left at the maintenance yard scene.
Monfort, said Satterberg, was "preparing to make a final armed stand" when police showed up to arrest him at his apartment, where he had bombs and a bunker made of car tires. In a gunfight, in which an officer escaped death, said Satterberg, Monfort was shot in the face; he is now recovering.
Satterberg also charged Monfort with three counts of attempted first-degree murder for wounding Sweeney, pointing a handgun at a Seattle police sergeant during his arrest, and for attempting to kill officers in his failed firebombing attempt Oct. 22. He also faces a count of first-degree arson for the fires.
The reason police officers were targeted, Satterberg said, was "solely because of the badge they were wearing."