Off-Duty Clifton Police Officer Planned Suicide by Cop, Court Papers Say
Clifton cop said he was on steroids, was angry at law enforcement and was ready to kill fellow police officers, according to court papers.
DOYLESTOWN, Pa. - The off-duty Clifton police officer who opened fire on Pennsylvania police during a 10-hour standoff in Doylestown Township on Sunday told his family he was ready to die and wanted to take fellow police officers out with him, according to court documents and authorities.
The documents released Monday shed more light on the possible motivation in the mind of Richard Klementovich, who police said held them at bay in his estranged wife's home on Father's Day.
In the documents, Doylestown Township Police Lt. Matt O’Connor said he spoke with Klementovich’s parents, Richard and Dolores. The couple told police that they had been in text message communication with their son as he remained holed up.
At about 4:35 p.m., Klementovich, 42, allegedly texted his parents the grim message of "tell the police I have a surprise for them, this is the way I want to die."
Police said they also obtained an email from Klementovich’s estranged wife in which Klementovich "apologizes to her for personal shortcomings, advises that he was on steroids, and mentions dying several times," the documents say.
"I get angry," Klementovich allegedly wrote in the email message. "Angry at this job and law enforcement. And its them who I will take out my anger on."
"They will do the job I couldn’t and take my life," wrote the 18-year veteran police officer, court papers said. "Not to mention the two rifles ammo magazines scope which prob were over $12,000 I hope whomever comes to our house is ready to die tomorrow because I will be."
The standoff began on Sunday afternoon in an upscale neighborhood of Doylestown when police received a call from Klementovich, Doylestown Township Police Chief Dean Logan said Monday.
When Police Officer Shaun Magee arrived at the home at about 1:58 p.m., he saw a manila envelope lying in the driveway, according to court records.
The envelope was addressed to Doylestown PD, and a paper fastened to it advising that the subject had two rifles, 2,000 rounds of ammunition, that he was a police officer and that he was ready to die, the court records said.
Magee returned to his vehicle and immediately exited the premises.
"Officer Magee observed neighbors nearby and advised them to get out of the area," according to the affidavit of probable cause. "At that time, Officer Magee heard numerous gun shots from an unknown location at an unknown target."
A call for more manpower went out to all Bucks County police departments, and fellow officers began converging on Doylestown Township.
The first to arrive were Doylestown Borough officers William Doucette and Dave Carlen. When they arrived on the scene, the gunman began firing at them; Magee saw bullets striking Doucette’s vehicle, court records said.
Magee exited his car and took cover. The gunman then began firing at him, according to the affidavit. Several rounds struck his police vehicle, court records said.
Doucette was wounded when a bullet kicked up debris, which struck him, reportedly in the face.
Four officers used the Bearcat armored personnel carrier to extricate Doucette from the area, court records said. As they approched Doucette, they received rifle fire.
Klementovich was being held Monday on $1 million bail in the Bucks County Prison in Doylestown Township on 13 charges of aggravated assault, authorities said.
In a statement released Monday, Clifton Police said Klementovich was a father of two who had served in the Gulf War in the Airborne Division of the Army. He spent 15 years as a patrolman in Clifton.
"During the crisis, fellow Clifton officers were able to establish communication with Officer Klementovich and assisted in his eventual surrender," the statement said. "The department is extremely thankful that the situation ended without the loss of life or any serious injury."