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Woman Slips Cuffs In Patrol Car, Grabs AR-15 And Opens Fire On Deputies

Grady County, OK – A deputy and a civilian were wounded after a methamphetamine-fueled Oklahoma woman slipped out of her handcuffs and stole a deputy’s AR-15 while seated inside the back of a patrol car late last week (video below).

Grady County Sheriff’s Office (GCSO) deputies responded to a residence near County St 2960 and County Road 1260 at approximately 11:45 a.m. on Aug. 12 after they received a report that a woman was “crawling around on her hands and knees in the yard and barking at [people],” KFOR reported.

The woman, later identified as 36-year-old Rachel Zion Clay, was screaming incoherently about a child needing a blood transfusion, police said.

Clay also yelled for someone to “answer the phone, you let her die, I’m not human, you killed her,” according to investigators.

Deputies said they were told Clay had run out of her mental health medication, KFOR reported.

They ended up placing Clay in handcuffs in the back of a patrol vehicle for her own protection as they investigated the incident.

“When we detain somebody, they actually go in handcuffs [and] they place her in the backseat of a patrol car,” Grady County Undersheriff Gary Boggess told KOKH.

As the deputies continued to investigate the incident, Clay managed to unfasten her seatbelt and successfully slipped the handcuff off of her right wrist, security footage from inside the patrol vehicle showed.

Undersheriff Boggess said the handcuffs “were put on properly,” but that Clay still managed to free herself, KOKH reported.

According to court documents, Clay then reached “through the Plexiglas partition window” and grabbed ahold of the deputy’s mounted AR-15, KFOR reported.

“She was able to reach up on our consoles,” the undersheriff told KOKH. “There are several switches. One is a gun switch to unlock the gun lock, and she found it, unlocked the gun locker, and was able to receive retrieve an AR 15 rifle.”

“Then, she was able to figure out how to put a round in it, put it on fire and she fired approximately 10 rounds at our deputies and a civilian,” he said.

Bodycam footage showed the deputies out speaking with a civilian when the shots were fired.

The civilian and one deputy were both grazed by bullet fragments during the shooting, KFOR reported.

Clay allegedly fired nine more rounds seconds later, according to police.

The wounded deputy and civilian were both transported to the hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries, according to police.

Clay proceeded to barricade herself inside the patrol vehicle, leading to a standoff that lasted well over three hours.

She wrote notes to police and tossed them out of the car at one point, according to KFOR.

“Evac the city,” “Kill any cop that tries to approach,” and “ambush ambush,” they allegedly read.

Clay was ultimately taken into custody shortly before 5 p.m., according to KFOR.

Investigators said she subsequently tested positive for methamphetamine, KOKH reported.

Clay has been charged with three counts of shooting with intent to kill, according to KFOR.

Her bond was set at $1 million.

During a virtual court appearance on Monday, Clay told the judge she needed a psychological evaluation and a doctor, KFOR reported.

Undersheriff Boggess said the circumstances of the shooting were unlike anything he has experienced during his years of service.

“It’s a freak deal. It’s one of these probably, I’m not gonna say one in a million. But you know, it’s one of those deals that you know, once it happens then you go back and try to make sure it never happens again,” he told KOKH.

The undersheriff said the department is planning to make some changes in order to help keep deputies safer.

“One, I will say, is our console. Where it actually said ‘gun’ and she was able to see that, that’s gonna be replaced,” he said. “We’re gonna put a switch someplace else in the vehicle to lock our gun.”

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.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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