Clark County Sheriff: ‘Support we have received keeps us strong’

The outpouring of support from area law enforcement and the community surrounding the death of a Clark County deputy in the line of duty has been humbling, Sheriff Deb Burchett said.

Deputy Matthew Yates, 41, was shot and wounded inside a mobile home Sunday morning after deputies responded to a shooting at the Harmony Estates Mobile Home Park outside Springfield. Law enforcement was “met by gunfire” and it took several hours before Yates could be freed. He was flown to Miami Valley Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.

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“Just the initial response to facilitate the rescue of Deputy Yates was, in no uncertain terms, awe inspiring,” the sheriff said.

Tactical teams of officers from Clark County, Springfield Police Division, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Greene County Sheriff’s Office, Xenia Police Division and the Dayton Police Department rushed to the scene.

They “worked diligently, with no second thought to their own safety, to get Matthew out of the residence,” Burchett said.

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Also ready to jump into action at the scene was a “sea of officers” from the sheriff’s office, Springfield, Catawba, South Vienna, South Charleston, Enon, North Hampton, German Twp. and Donnelsville police departments; Champaign County, Madison County and Greene County sheriff’s offices, in addition to on scene support from the Clark County Emergency Management Agency, Harmony Twp. Fire and EMS, Pleasant Twp. Fire and EMS and CareFlight.

Two others died during the incident.

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The shooting and standoff coincided with the annual Clark County Fair.

When it happened, every available deputy left the fair but Dayton police, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and highway patrol sent officers, deputies and troopers to work the fair and are among several other agencies to make a standing offer to cover this detail as needed, she said.

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“We can’t even express in words the amount of agencies across the Miami Valley and beyond that have offered to step in and cover shifts here for our patrol and dispatch, help with logistics for services, or just took the time to make the call to give their condolences, offer to help in any way, or just say they are thinking about us and the family. 

“The same goes for the overwhelming show of support from the public across the Miami Valley. Calls, notes, flowers left, donations to the family and just a handshake and ‘I’m sorry for your loss’ from someone in the public brings us to tears every time.

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“Rest assured that, though this has rocked us to our core and we are hurting, the support we have received keeps us strong, motivated and prepared to keep this community safe,” Burchett said.

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