Clark County deputy killed: Prosecutor moved by officers’ response to shooting

SWAT officers respond to Harmony Estates in Harmony Township. MARSHALL GORBY/STAFF

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SWAT officers respond to Harmony Estates in Harmony Township. MARSHALL GORBY/STAFF

Clark County Prosecutor Daniel Driscoll praised law enforcement officers who responded to a shooting in Harmony Twp. Sunday in which a Clark County sheriff’s deputy suffered fatal injuries.

Deputy Matthew Yates was shot inside a mobile home while responding to a shooting, according to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. It took hours before deputies and law enforcement officers were able to get to Yates. CareFlight transported the deputy to Miami Valley Hospital, where Yates was pronounced dead from injuries.

Yates was a 15-year veteran of the sheriff’s office and a member of the Special Operations Team, said Clark County Sheriff Deborah K. Burchett.

In a Facebook post Monday, Driscoll called the day horrible and said Yates’ death was “a senseless tragedy and a tremendous loss to this community.”

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Clark County deputy Matthew Yates.

Clark County deputy Matthew Yates.

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Clark County deputy Matthew Yates.

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“He was the one person who, if you saw him out in public or at a scene, you would always make your way over to him,” Driscoll said. ”You knew, with Matt, that you would be greeted with a huge handshake, a bigger smile, and you would leave feeling better having shared even a minute with him.”

But the prosecutor also wrote he was proud of the response of law enforcement agencies from across the region.

“Each of them showed up fully realizing the risk they would face and willing, like Deputy Yates, to make the ultimate sacrifice,” the post read. “...I was moved by officers, aware that a friend was hurt and probably dead, choking back tears, steeling themselves and heading back to stand firm that ‘Thin Blue Line’.”

The response was an example of the brotherhood between officers and the law enforcement community, Driscoll said.

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“Yesterday, as we saw that that brotherhood - that commitment - is stronger than a uniform or a jurisdiction,” he said. “Last night at Miami Valley Hospital and in the days ahead as we say our goodbyes to Deputy Yates, we will see that that commitment is stronger even than death.”

Driscoll also thanked all the law enforcement agencies who responded to the scene Sunday.

“Please know from the bottom of my heart that your sacrifice is greatly appreciated,” he wrote.

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