June 1, 2023

UPDATE: Madison police officer killed in standoff, Brandon officer wounded

Therese Apel

Randy Tyler
Police vehicles at the scene of a fatal standoff in Crossgates. Madison police officer Randy Tyler was killed and a Brandon officer was also wounded when he was shot in the abdomen.

Madison Police Department Officer Randy Tyler lived in the line of duty, and died the same, protecting the people of a community that wasn’t even his.

In a Thursday afternoon press conference, Brandon Police Chief Wayne Dearman said Tyler and others were making an entry into a residence on Terrapin Hill Road North in Brandon where a domestic situation led to a standoff around 1 a.m.

The suspect, 22-year-old Gabriel Matthew Wilson of Pearl, had entered the home where two women were inside. One was able to escape, but the other was still trapped in the house. Police were able to distract the suspect by bringing him some water through the back door, and the hostage was also able to slip out.

Source: City of Brandon
Gabriel Wilson

At about 5:45 p.m., police heard a gunshot inside the home.

“We had two officers standing together across the street and, the senior officer asked one of the junior officers, ‘Step behind me.’ He thought they were more exposed than they needed to be, and he wanted to place him in a more protected area,” Dearman said. “Maybe (the suspect) just saw them move, maybe it was a random shot.”

The Brandon police officer was shot in the abdomen, Dearman said.

Agency after agency arrived on the scene, including the Rankin County Sheriff’s Department, Madison PD, Clinton PD, Pearl PD, MBI, MHP, MBN, the U.S. Marshals, and others. Multiple SWAT teams were on scene as well.

A robot can be seen in the middle of the road heading toward the site of a standoff in Crossgates Thursday morning.

A bomb robot and multiple drones were sent in during the standoff, and shortly afterward radio traffic could be heard saying that officers could see a man curled up in fetal position inside the home. They began to discuss entering the home and trying to make contact.

Dearman said the last drone that was sent in saw the suspect, but it may have flown into the ceiling fan and waked the suspect from sleeping.

“He woke up and grabbed the rifle,” Dearman said.

Tyler, a former Ridgeland Police Chief and current Madison Special Response Team officer, Field Training Coordinator, and Narcotics Division Supervisor, was shot twice with that bolt-action rifle, Dearman said. It is unclear where Tyler was in relation to the suspect.

Away from the action, at the intersection of Terrapin Hill Road and Crossgates Drive, gunshots could be heard, and suddenly police officers were running down the street telling reporters to get out of the line of fire. The urgency was palpable.

The suspect was dead as well.

Chief Tyler was a graduate of the 228th Session of the F.B.I. National Academy in Quantico, VA and was an active member of the MS Chapter of the F.B.I. National Academy Associates.

“Randy will be sorely missed by all of his colleagues, family and friends. The Madison Police Department asks for the community’s support and prayers during this difficult time,” said a release from Captain Kevin Newman.

Funeral arrangements will be provided once they have been finalized.

Friends, family and fellow officers have been posting tributes to Tyler on social media. Many of them referenced the many years of service he had under his belt, as well as his leadership.

“30ish years ago there was a night shift comprised of a few young, eager police officers. We were led by a young Sergeant who had the uncanny ability to keep morale at an incredible level. Work was fun! We were always together, on and off duty. We were invincible, or so we thought. There are so many stories… and memories. As time passed we went our separate ways but the memories remain. That Sergeant left us today but I’ll always remember,” wrote Ken Craft.

Dearman assured the people of Brandon that they are still safe, but noted that officers are shot in the line of duty every day.

“The days of walking down the street and feeling safe just because you live in a town where you know everyone’s name, those days are almost gone,” he said.

The Brandon police officer who was shot is in the hospital, and his condition after surgery has stabilized. His name has not been released.

The incident is under investigation by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation.

The Darkhorse Press staff extends our most heartfelt condolences to the family of Randy Tyler, both blood family and blue family. Godspeed, sir. Thank you for giving your life to protect us.

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