Video: Woman escapes handcuffs in cruiser, shoots deputy with AR-15
“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,” police said
Read Police1 columnist Warren Wilson's take on this incident and his recommendations for vehicle stowed firearms security.
By Amanda Spence
GRADY COUNTY, Okla. — A woman, who was detained in a cruiser at the time, was somehow able to get her wrists free from her handcuffs and grab an AR-15 in the police vehicle, shooting off 10 rounds at deputies and a bystander.
Both a deputy and another man were grazed by the bullet fragments, according to Local 12, and the entire incident was caught on video. Rachel Zion Clay was being detained at the time for erratic behavior.
“When we detain somebody, they actually go in handcuffs, [and] they place you in the back seat of the patrol car,” Grady County Undersheriff Gary Boggess said. “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. She was able to reach up on our consoles. 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 10 rounds at our deputies and a civilian."
The incident has since prompted changes at the department.
“One, I will say, is our console where it actually said 'gun,' and she was able to see that,” Boggess said. “That's gonna be replaced. We're gonna put a switch someplace else in the vehicle to lock our gun. 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. That's what we're looking at.”
Clay barricaded herself in the cruiser, but she surrendered after an hours-long standoff. She tested positive for meth and faces charges of shooting with the intent to kill.