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Hero Down: Clark County Sheriff’s Deputy Matthew Yates Murdered By Gunman

Harmony Township, OH – Clark County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) Deputy Matthew Yates was murdered in the line of duty on Sunday while responding to a report of gunfire inside a residence.

The incident occurred at a mobile home located in the Harmony Estates Mobile Home Park in the 1100-block of Ashwood Drive, Clark County Sheriff Deborah Burchett told reporters during an emotional press conference later in the day, according to the Dayton Daily News.

Deputies responded to the home after someone called 911 at 10:51 a.m. to report that an unknown female had broken into the house and fired five or six rounds at the people inside.

As deputies attempted to enter the home, “they were met with gunfire,” Sheriff Burchett said.

CCSO Deputy Matthew Yates, a 15-year veteran of the sheriff’s office, was shot during the attack.

The wounded hero remained trapped inside the home for hours during an ensuing standoff with the suspect, the Dayton Daily News reported.

Sheriff Burchett told reporters that multiple tactical teams, including the Clark County Special Operations that Team Deputy Yates was a member of, responded to the scene to rescue him from the home.

The teams were eventually able to reach Deputy Yates and loaded him into an armored vehicle at approximately 2:30 p.m., the Dayton Daily News reported.

He was flown to Miami Valley Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

At some point during the standoff, the mobile home caught on fire and was ultimately destroyed, the Dayton Daily News reported.

The identity of the shooter was not immediately released and it wasn’t known whether police had taken anyone into custody in connection with the incident.

Investigators did not release further details about what occurred, but family members of the unidentified man who lived at the mobile home said the man had mental health issues and that another family member had gone to the house to check on him that day, the Dayton Daily News reported.

The family members said the male resident shot the female relative, then killed two more people during the incident.

The family identified the gunman as Cole Matthew White and said they believe he was killed during the standoff, but investigators did not immediately confirm that information, the Dayton Daily News reported.

A second deputy injured his leg while trying to escape the gunfire.

Officials said the second deputy was not shot and that he is expected to recover, the Dayton Daily News reported.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) is handling the ongoing investigation, the Dayton Daily News reported.

Sheriff Burchett did not release further details.

She asked the community to pray for Deputy Yates’ family and for the CCSO, according to FOX News.

Dozens of law enforcement and first responder vehicles lined the Miami Valley area on Sunday night as a procession of law enforcement officers headed to the hospital, the Dayton Daily News reported.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine ordered that U.S. and state flags be lowered to half-staff until sunset on the day of Deputy Yates’ interment, The Enquirer reported.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said Deputy Yost is the son of a law enforcement officer, according to the Springfield News-Sun.

“Deputy Matt Yates ended his watch yesterday taking dangerous action in the face of evil, going to the rescue of someone else,” Yost said on Monday. “My heart breaks for his father, who he followed into law enforcement, for his family, and for Sheriff Deb Burchett and the Clark County Sheriff’s office—which lost its second deputy in 12 years by the gun of a criminal.”

“To everyone who wears the badge and remains at their duty post this morning: you have our deepest gratitude, and we will always remember,” Yost added.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Clark County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Matthew Yates, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Deputy Matthew Yates, your life mattered.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin

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