The people who knew her best recognized Holly M. Crahay needed help.
Crahay talked about God being her husband and would go on hourslong excursions to find him.
She sent her children a photograph of a gun two months ago and said she wanted to either shoot someone in Tacoma for taking one of her five children into state custody or shoot herself.
She shaved her head and said people were dragging her down and hurting her.
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Loved ones tried to get Crahay mental-health counseling but were unsuccessful.
Crahay, a 38-year-old SeaTac resident, was shot and killed Sunday afternoon in an exchange of gunfire with Pierce County law enforcement officers in Bonney Lake.
“Everybody knew this was going to happen,” said Stacie Addison-Hanley, who’s been best friends with Crahay since they were teenagers. “It kills me that it had to come to this.”
A Pierce County sheriff’s deputy spotted Crahay driving recklessly in a shopping-center parking lot near 196th Avenue in Bonney Lake shortly before 2:50 p.m. Sunday. The deputy tried to pull her over but she drove away, the Sheriff’s Department reported.
The deputy pursued Crahay onto state Route 410. Crahay drove onto the shoulder and into oncoming traffic.
The deputy performed a “pursuit intervention technique” on Crahay’s car, pinning it against a guardrail on Myers Road.
The Sheriff’s Department reported that Crahay opened fire on two police vehicles. Two deputies and a Bonney Lake police officer returned fire and wounded Crahay, who maintained a firm grip on her gun after she was struck, Pierce County sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said. Crahay died late Sunday at a local hospital.
The deputies and officers were put on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure when officers use deadly force.
Addison-Hanley said Crahay has struggled in recent years. Two men in her life committed suicide – one of them in front of her. She battled drug addiction and lost custody of her children, Addison-Hanley said.
A warrant was issued last month for Crahay’s arrest after King County prosecutors charged her charged with violating a protection order, felony harassment-domestic violence and unlawful possession of a firearm.
Crahay was accused of having contact with her children despite a judge’s orders to stay away from them, court documents state.
She sent one son a text message, saying she had a gun and was upset with Child Protective Services for taking one of her children, the records state. She also was accused of running after her 13-year-old son and threatening to kill him for “raping God,” charging documents state.
Addison-Hanley said she had to distance herself from Crahay to keep her own children safe. She and others asked police and social workers to help Crahay.
“I think she knew she needed (mental health counseling), but she was scared to get it,” Addison-Hanley said. “She thought everybody was after her.”