An Oklahoma woman was being held by police near Oklahoma City due to her unpredictable behavior and wasn’t even bound for a jail cell — until her actions in the back seat of a patrol car changed everything.
Video footage from a Grady County Sheriff’s Department dashcam revealed the stunning incident that unfolded Aug. 12 as Rachel Zion Clay, 36, slipped out of her handcuffs and reached inside the console of the cruiser where she found the gun-release switch and unlocked a police AR-15 rifle.
Deputies were nearby taking a statement from a civilian witness identified by KFOR-TV as homeowner Dale Moses.
Grady County Undersheriff Gary Boggess said in an interview with KOKH-TV, “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,” Boggess said.
“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.”
The unnamed deputy and Moses were struck and suffered non-fatal injuries and were both transported to a nearby hospital, the deputy has since been released.
What followed was a 3 1/2 hour standoff that eventually ended with Clay’s surrender after she barricaded herself inside the patrol car, firing at officers from the concealed position.
Several notes found in the vehicle, apparently scrawled by Clay during the standoff, indicated that Clay was in a “disturbed” state at the time of the incident according to an NBC News report. Clay only surrendered after lengthy negotiations and even an armored breaching vehicle being brought to bear.
According to Justia, the sentencing guidelines for the felony charges are broad and can range anywhere from a minimum of two years to life in prison.
Boggess told KOKH that his office is instituting several changes in protocol in an effort to keep deputies safe and prevent another incident like this.
“One, I will say, is our console where it actually said ‘gun,'” Boggess explained. “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,” he continued, emphasizing the rarity of such an incident.
“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, then you go back and try to make sure it never happens again. That’s what we’re looking at.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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