Prince George’s police identify slain postal worker as Tyson Jerome Barnette

November 24, 2013

Prince George’s County Police on Sunday identified the letter carrier who was shot and killed Saturday night as Tyson Jerome Barnette, 26, of Upper Marlboro, and postal officials are offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case.

Barnette was delivering mail in a Landover neighborhood not far from the Cheverly Metro station when he was killed.

Police said that around 7:20 p.m. officers were called to the 1600 block of Reed Street for reports of a shooting. When they arrived, they found Barnette suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Officials said detectives are working to identify the suspect or suspects and a motive in this case.

George T. Maffett Jr., a spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service, said that Barnette had been a letter carrier for six years and had been on this particular Landover route three times in the last month.

On Sunday, union officials also expressed their sympathy.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the letter carrier and his family during this very difficult time,’’ said Fredric Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers, adding that: “The nation’s letter carriers deliver the mail in every community throughout the country. This tragic incident highlights the need in all operational decisions about how and when mail is delivered to give priority consideration to the safety of these dedicated public servants.”

One resident of the street said he was returning home just as the carrier had finished placing mail into the letter box at his house.

He said the worker was not the regular carrier, and when he called to him, he did not respond.

The man took his mail and went into his house. Within minutes, the man said, he heard two or three gunshots.

When he looked out, he said, he noted that a Postal Service truck was near the corner of the street, but he did not see a carrier.

Officer Harry Bond, Prince George’s County Police spokesman, said the neighborhood is in an area about a half-mile south of the Cheverly Metrorail station.

Shootings of mail carriers in uniform and on their rounds are extremely unusual.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Prince George’s County Police Department’s Homicide Unit at 301-772-4925. Callers who don’t want to reveal their identity may call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477), text “PGPD plus your message” to CRIMES (274637) using a cellphone or go to www.pgcrimesolvers.com to submit a tip online. A reward of up to $25,000 is offered to anyone who provides information leading to an arrest and indictment in this case.

Lori Aratani writes about how people live, work and play in the D.C. region for The Post’s Transportation and Development team.
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