2 Miss. officers shot, one fatally, by hostage-taker
Officer Randy Tyler, who died after he was shot twice in the chest with a rifle, had worked for the Madison Police Department for seven years
Duty Death: Horren Randy Tyler - [Madison, Mississippi]
End of Service: 06/01/2023
BRANDON, Miss. — An intruder who went into a Mississippi home armed with three guns and wearing a bulletproof vest took a woman hostage and later shot two police officers, killing one and wounding the other during an eight-hour standoff Thursday that ended in his death, police said.
The violence took place in the Jackson suburb of Brandon, where officers had called in backup from several law enforcement agencies. Among those responding was Madison Police Department Officer Randy Tyler, who died after he was shot twice in the chest with a rifle, Brandon Police Chief Wayne Dearman said.
Tyler had worked for seven years as an officer in Madison, another Jackson suburb. The Madison department said he was a member of its special response team and directed the training of newly hired officers. Tyler previously retired as police chief in nearby Ridgeland.
“Today, Mississippi grieves for Officer Tyler, his loved ones, and the rest of the law enforcement community,” Republican Gov. Tate Reeves said in a statement. “His courageous sacrifice likely stopped others from being killed or injured.”
Dearman said at a news conference that the shooter was identified as 22-year-old Gabriel Matthew Wilson, from the city of Pearl.
Brandon police received a call at 1:20 a.m. that a man in a tactical vest with two handguns and a rifle was trying to break into a home that had two women inside, Dearman said. He said investigators believe that one of the women was Wilson’s girlfriend.
The chief said one woman escaped quickly and Wilson held the other one hostage until police brought him water that he demanded. Officers left the water inside the house and walked out, and the hostage escaped unharmed.
“From our conversations with him, he was there and he was looking for a fight,” Dearman said.
Wilson's mother was at the scene assisting police in talking to her son, the chief said.
Dearman said that several hours into the standoff, two officers were standing outside when Wilson starting shooting toward them from inside the home. The gunfire wounded one of the officers, who works for the Brandon Police Department. Dearman did not release that officer's name but said he was shot in the side while wearing a bulletproof vest.
Hours later police sent a drone into the house, and its video showed Wilson lying on a mattress, Dearman said. A team of officers went inside to try to end the standoff.
“I think the drone may have hit a ceiling fan,” Dearman said. “When he woke up from that point, he grabbed the rifle again, and that's when he fatally shot the officer (from) Madison.”
After Wilson fired several shots, he added, “some of the team members wound up having to subdue the subject.”
The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is examining the case, as it does with most shootings of or by law enforcement officers in the state. Afterward the MBI will give its findings to the state attorney general's office, Department of Public Safety spokesperson Bailey Martin said.