Awards honor deputies for actions during Walmart shooting

Deputies, from left, Andrew Ejde, John Stacy and Krista McDonald are recognized by Sheriff Steve Boyer at a Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office awards ceremony last week. - Courtesy photo
Deputies, from left, Andrew Ejde, John Stacy and Krista McDonald are recognized by Sheriff Steve Boyer at a Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office awards ceremony last week.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

The Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office honored Deputies Krista McDonald, Andrew Ejde and John Stacy at an awards ceremony Sept. 20, for their responses during a January shooting at the South Kitsap Walmart.

The Sheriff’s Office also honored David Wilson, a registered nurse and Gulf War Army veteran who helped first responders at the scene.

Ejde and Stacy were shot and injured while pursuing 30-year-old Anthony Martinez as the two were following up on a call that Martinez had been seen with a young girl who didn’t seem to be a relative.

“Ejde was running after the suspect, closing in and about to apprehend him, when the felon drew a semi-automatic handgun and began firing numerous rounds,” according to a speech by Sheriff Steve Boyer at the awards ceremony. “Ejde was struck by a bullet in the left shoulder that spun him around to his left; he immediately turned back toward the fleeing felon and was simultaneously hit by a second bullet into his right bicep.”

He spun to the right and to the ground onto a flower bed.

He tried to draw his duty weapon, but couldn’t with either hand because of his wounds. So, he rolled off the planter and used a concrete curb for cover.

Stacy went after Martinez until Martinez shot Stacy in the right shoulder, knocking the deputy to the ground.

Immediately, he dove behind a parked patrol vehicle for cover, but he regained his feet, drew his weapon and “advanced toward the suspect,” Boyer said.

McDonald, who was providing backup for Ejde and Stacy, fired at Martinez from behind her patrol vehicle, about 90 feet away from the suspect.

She advanced toward the suspect, without the benefit of protective cover, and shot Martinez’s left leg.

“After hitting the asphalt, Martinez rolled onto his back and began shooting again,” Boyer said. “By this point, Deputy McDonald had moved to within 60 feet of the suspect, placing herself in the line of fire to distract the suspect from firing at the wounded deputies. She continued returning gunfire.”

Astrid Valdivia, a 13-year-old from Utah who had run away with Martinez, ran over to him.

He shot her, then shot himself. Both wounds were fatal.

“This entire scenario, from the moment the suspect broke contact and ran, until the shooting finally ceased was 39 seconds,” Boyer said.

David Wilson, an Army medic who was wounded in action by gunfire during the Gulf War, happened to be nearby during the shooting.

“He approached the first team of responding deputies and volunteered his expertise and assistance," Boyer said. "Once the two deputies were en rout to Tacoma General Hospital, he quietly left the scene."

Boyer gave Wilson the Sheriff’s Certificate of Appreciation.

A Purple Heart Medal and The Medal of Courage were given to Ejde and Stacy.

McDonald was given the Medal of Valor, which “requires extraordinary action that involves the immediate risk to life in the prevention of harm to others, or extraordinary action involving immediate risk to life in the apprehension of dangerous persons,” Boyer said.

McDonald will also be nominated for the sheriff of the year award nationwide.

“The fact that she was nominated is a great honor,” Deputy Scott Wilson, the public information officer for the Sheriff’s Office, said.

The Sheriff’s Office has also nominated McDonald for an award from the Bureau of Justice.

The deputies involved in the shooting have, so far, declined to talk with the media about it.

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