GRADY COUNTY, OK – A woman who was the subject of a welfare check last week is now facing a litany of serious felony charges after she reportedly slipped out of her handcuffs and opened fire on a deputy and bystander – using a rifle she obtained from inside of the patrol vehicle where she was being held.
The incident reportedly occurred on August 12th after deputies from the Grady County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to a residence located along County Street 2960 and Quail Haven Road in Bridge Creek for a welfare check.
Deputies eventually made contact with a woman identified as 36-year-old Rachel Zion Clay, who was reportedly acting in a strange manner when authorities were called out to the scene. It would later be determined that Clay had methamphetamine in her system at the time of the incident.
Clay was cuffed and placed into the back of a patrol unit as a measure for her own protection, but things took a wild turn once she was left to her own devices while deputies were conversing with witnesses.
Video from inside the patrol unit where Clay was being held shows her slipping out of her cuffs. Thereafter, Clay reportedly reached through an opened partition window that gave her access to an AR-15 style rifle, later opening fire on a bystander and deputy.
Clay allegedly fired off ten rounds from inside the patrol vehicle, with Deputy Keith Williams and the bystander being struck by the gunfire. Bodycam footage shows the initial confusion among deputies when the bystander was the first to be hit by the gunfire, with one deputy saying, “What was that?”
Luckily, both the deputy and the bystander’s injuries were non-life-threatening.
The matter led to a standoff for approximately three hours before Clay surrendered to authorities. She is currently facing charges of shooting with intent to kill and is being held on a $1 million bond.
Grady County Undersheriff Gary Boggess spoke with the local Fox25 news outlet, detailing how Clay managed to gain access to the weapon used during the incident.
“While in the back seat of a patrol car, she was able to get her wrist free from the handcuffs, and the handcuffs were put on properly… There’s several switches, one is a gun switch to unlock the gun lock, and she found it, unlocked the gun lock, and was able to 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 ten rounds at our deputies and a civilian.”
Undersheriff Boggess stated that in light of the incident, the department is going to be making some changes so as to keep something like this from happening again – with one of those changes being to remove the word “gun” from the gun lock release mechanism inside patrol vehicles.
“One, I will say, is our console where it actually said ‘gun.’ She was able to see that. That’s going to be replaced. We’re going to put a switch someplace else in the vehicle to lock our gun. It’s a freak deal. It’s one of these… I’m not going to say one in a million, but you know, it’s one of those deals that, you know, once it happens, you go back and try to make sure it never happens again. That’s what we’re looking at.”