Early-morning standoff in Tishomingo County results in agent's death

Early-morning standoff in Tishomingo County results in agent's death
Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics Agent Lee Tartt was killed in an incident early Saturday morning. (Photo credit: Mississippi Department of Public Safety)
The suspect Charles Lee Lambert was also killed during a shootout with law enforcement officers. (Photo source: Mississippi Department of Public Safety)
The suspect Charles Lee Lambert was also killed during a shootout with law enforcement officers. (Photo source: Mississippi Department of Public Safety)

TISHOMINGO COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A standoff early Saturday morning in Tishomingo County southeast of Iuca has left a narcotics agent dead and three state troopers injured.

According to DPS spokesperson Warren Strain, Tishomingo County Sheriff's Department responded to a domestic situation at approximately 5:15 p.m. on Friday that involved a man, his wife, and their 10-year old daughter. The situation escalated to a stand-off when the man, who has been identified as 45-year old Charles Lee Lambert, refused to comply with officers' instructions to come out of the residence.

Mississippi Highway Patrol troopers, Mississippi Bureau of Investigation agents, and Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics agents all responded after a request was made by the sheriff's department.

Authorities say after nearly six hours of negotiations, two combined tactical teams from MHP and MBN entered the home. Shots were fired between the man and the law enforcement officers, which resulted in the deaths of Lambert and Agent Lee Tartt and the injuries of three state troopers.

The woman and child were rescued safely, according to Strain. Inside the home, authorities were able to recover the high-powered rifle used by Lambert.

MBI agents and crime scene technicians, members of the Criminal Reconstruction Unit, forensic scientists from the State Crime Lab, and the State Medical Examiner are all conducting an investigation of the incident.

Tartt, 44, was a 22-year law enforcement veteran and had been with MBN since September 2000. He was the 2011 MBN Agent of the Year and received the H. Lane Caldwell Award of Valor in 2012. He is survived by his wife and two children.

Both Gov. Phil Bryant released a statement Saturday morning expressing his condolences.

"Our men and women in law enforcement put themselves in harm's way every hour of every shift," said Gov. Bryant. "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."

A statement was also released by Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves:

"Agent Tartt dedicated his life to protecting the people of Mississippi, and his courageous service will not be forgotten. Join Elee and I as we pray for his family and his brave colleagues who are recovering from their injuries. The events of last night are a poignant reminder of the risks law enforcement take each day protecting my family and yours."

We will continue to update this story as new details become available.

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