“Our men and women in law enforcement put themselves in harm’s way every hour of every shift,” Gov. Phil Bryant (R) said in a statement. “This is a tragic reminder that their willingness to serve can exact the highest price. Deborah and I ask all Mississippians to join us in praying for the family of the fallen officer. May God hold him in the hollow of His hand.”
Tartt’s death came at the end of an hourslong standoff between police and Charles Lee Lambert, 45, who had taken his wife and 10-year-old daughter hostage, according to Reuters.
Officers responded to a domestic call around 5:15 p.m. Friday, which escalated to a standoff when Lambert refused to exit the residence, according to the state police. After almost six hours of fruitless negotiations, two tactical teams —from the Mississippi Highway Patrol and Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics—entered the house.
Once in, the shooting began, leaving Tartt and the suspect dead and three state troopers wounded. Lambert’s wife and daughter were successfully rescued and the high-powered rifle he used recovered.
Tartt is the fifth narcotics bureau agent to die in the organization’s 45-year history. The last was killed in 1998, two years before Tartt joined the bureau.
Tartt spent half his life—22 years—in law enforcement and is survived by his wife and two children.
He is the 11th officer nationwide to die while on duty so far this year, according to the non-profit Officer Down Memorial Page.