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Wounded deputy dies at hospital

Pierce County sheriff's deputy Kent Mundell died at 5:04 p.m. Monday after being removed from life support at Seattle's Harborview Medical Center, sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer announced Monday during a news conference.

The decision to remove life support was made Monday afternoon, Troyer said.

“It was obvious that nothing was going to happen,” Troyer added.

“Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out the way we’d hoped.”

Mundell, 44, was critically wounded Dec. 21 when he and sheriff’s Sgt. Nicholas Hausner were shot while trying to escort a drunken man from his brother’s home near Eatonville. Mundell was flown to Harborview that evening and had been on life support since.

Hausner was hospitalized with serious wounds. He was released from Madigan Army Medical Center on Thursday and traveled to Harborview to visit his comrade that same day.

Sheriff’s investigators have said Mundell traded fire with gunman David Edward Crable, killing him.

Mundell and Hausner were dispatched to the small house on Tanwax Lake after someone there called 911 to report that Crable was “drunk and belligerent” and refusing to leave.

Crable – who had a history of domestic violence – initially agreed to leave the home but at one point pulled out a pistol and shot the two deputies.

Mundell, a Rogers High School graduate, was a married father of two – a 16-year-old daughter and a 10-year-old son. He’d been a sheriff’s deputy for nearly 10 years, having joined on Jan. 10, 2000.

Law enforcement officers from across the region have stood vigil at Harborview since Mundell was wounded, and Sheriff Paul Pastor visited the fallen deputy’s bedside last week and prayed over him.

Dozens of officers were on hand when it was announced that Mundell had died.

“None of us are doing well” right now, Pastor said. “This is somebody we know, somebody we worked with, somebody we have taken risks with and somebody who’s backed us up.”

There was no immediate word on memorial or funeral services for Mundell.

“Unfortunately, we’re getting really good at putting on police funerals in Western Washington,” Troyer said.

Mundell was the sixth Puget Sound-area law enforcement officer killed on duty since Halloween when Seattle police officer Timothy Brenton was killed while he sat in a patrol car comparing notes with a colleague.

Four Lakewood police officers – Sgt. Mark Renninger and officers Tina Griswold, Greg Richards and Ronald Owens – were gunned down at a Parkland coffee shop on Nov. 29.

Despite these losses, area law officers will not shirk, Pastor said.

“People will be putting on their uniforms, and putting on their badges and they will be taking the same risks,” the sheriff said. “Thank God there are people who are willing to continue to do that.”

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