Eureka Police Department press release:
This morning, the Eureka Police Department held a special ceremony honoring Sharral Lynne McDonald. One year ago today, on the afternoon of May 6, 2018, Eureka Police Department officers responded to a report of shots fired at a residence on the 3300 block of H Street where they found an uninjured woman along with Sharral who had just been shot and killed. Detectives learned Sherral was killed after she intervened in a domestic dispute. Due to Sharral’s courageous intervention, the intended victim was able to escape.
During today’s ceremony, Chief Watson presented Sharral’s family with the EPD Valor Service Award. The full award letter is below.
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Dear Sharral “Sherry” McDonald:
It is the mission of the Eureka Police Department to “Work in partnership with the community to prevent and reduce crime, to safeguard public trust, improve the quality of life and protect the future of Eureka through dedicated professional service.” EPD is committed to promoting community-oriented policing concepts and positive relations with the public we serve. We further this purpose by acknowledging valued citizens and groups who commit acts of extraordinary kindness or valor, unselfishly give of themselves to help others, or perform other good deeds that go above and beyond the normal courtesies society expects.
To this end, we commissioned the minting of a special “challenge coin” to be awarded to deserving individuals who give of themselves in an exceptional manner. This unique full-color coin represents the Eureka Police Department’s cherished values of VALOR, SERVICE, and COMMUNITY and may be displayed proudly. These values are printed on the coin’s face surrounding the Great Seal of the State of California. The reverse side of the coin depicts the emblem found on the Eureka Police Department patch.
On May 6th 2018, Sharral McDonald was visiting with her friend in the City of Eureka. The two had just returned to her friend’s residence where they discovered her friend’s ex-boyfriend sitting on the steps of her front porch. Fearing her ex- boyfriend would become violent, Sharral’s friend walked inside her home to avoid an altercation. The male followed her inside the residence and cornered her near her bedroom doorway demanding she leave with him and physically blocked her attempts to flee. When she refused, he brandished a handgun and pointed it at her threatening to shoot everyone in the home if she did not leave with him.
Upon witnessing the threats to her friend’s life, Sharral immediately and without hesitation walked over to the male, placing herself between him and her friend. Sharral told the male, “You’re being violent and you need to leave.” The male responded by shooting Sharral. Tragically, Sharral did not survive. As a result of Sharral’s timely and selfless intervention, her friend was able to escape and alert authorities.
Detectives assigned to the investigation noted that Sharral could have easily fled to safety at any time but instead, became a shield to protect her friend from harm. The Detectives believed that if not for Sharral’s selfless actions, her friend would not have survived the encounter. The Officers and staff of the Eureka Police Department can think of no finer example of an act of courage in the face of evil or of a citizen who is more deserving of the Valor-Service Award.
This is the first time the Valor-Service Award has been awarded posthumously.
As Chief of Police, it is my pleasure to honor and recognize Sharral for her courageous and selfless actions. Please accept with this coin the recognition and thanks of the Eureka Police Department.
Stephen Watson, Chief of Police