Thurston County Sheriff's Deputy Stabbed, Suspect Shot Friday Night in Yelm

Sheriff's Office: Thurston County Deputy and 'Male Subject' Both Injured in Shooting in Yelm

A Thurston County Sheriff's Office deputy and a white man in his 40s were both transported to hospitals after a Friday night call to a house on the 16900 block of Holly Street SE in Yelm went awry.

The deputy, a woman in her mid-30s, was responding to a report of an unwanted visitor when she was reportedly stabbed by the man within two minutes of her arrival at the scene, according to a statement from Lt. Cameron Simper. She then reportedly fired her weapon, striking the suspect. 

Simper said the deputy was transported to Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia where she is in serious but stable condition and undergoing surgery. The man was transported to Yelm Middle School and airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in serious condition. 

Q13 Fox News on Saturday morning identified the man as Ronald Clayton, a level three sex offender and convicted rapist.

Clayton allegedly cut off his GPS tracker around 1:40 p.m. on Friday near the Spanaway Walmart and was wanted by the Department of Corrections officers for escaping. Q13 reported that Clayton had recently been using meth. 

He was originally convicted of first-degree rape when he was 16 for forcefully entering a woman's house and was caught most recently in 2019 in Enumclaw for failing to register as a sex offender after serving two years in prison. 

The officer-involved shooting is now being investigated independently by the Region 3 Critical Incident Investigation Team, which is comprised of detectives from Thurston County and four other nearby counties. 

"The Thurston County Sheriff's Office will not participate in this particular investigation. The Mason County Sheriff's Office will be the leading agency in this investigation," Simper said. 

Dozens of police cars lined Holly Street and sirens could be heard throughout the greater Nisqually Pines neighborhood Friday evening. Investigating officers were busy interviewing nearby neighbors as unmarked police cars, ambulances and fire trucks cruised over police tape and into the neighborhood. 

Tammy Sweem, 57, who lives near the corner of Aspen Court and Holly Street, said she first thought she heard fireworks. There were three pops, then three minutes later sirens and lights. 

"You could just hear them coming in. You could hear the 'pop, pop, pop' and they were here in less than three minutes," Sweem said. "We're just going to lock the doors and hope there's no more excitement for the night." 

Brenda Anderson, 67, who lives near the 8400 block of Aspen Court, said she could see a man strapped to a gurney of the second ambulance that drove out of the scene.

Part of her property was taped off by officers. She was watching the police vehicles come in that night from her porch. She said she didn't see or hear any gunshots because she was watching TV in her front room.

"I first heard the cops fly by and I was like 'holy smokes,'" Anderson said.

Thurston County deputies were first called out to the house at about 8:13 p.m. According to dispatch, a caller had dialed 911 saying that a male was scaring her and her friend, and that he had a knife in his pocket.

The man was also reportedly making threats, according to the sheriff's office. 

The deputy arrived at the house shortly after the call. 

"A deputy arrived on scene, and within two minutes of her arrival she advised dispatch that shots had been fired and she had been stabbed. Officers from the Yelm Police Department and other TCSO deputies arrived and began rendering aid to both the deputy and suspect," a news release from the Thurston County Sheriff's Office read. 


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