Mississippi Sheriff's Deputy Who 'Played Dead' Saved by Vest

April 15, 2019
Marshall County Sheriff’s Deputy Daniel Tatum was saved by his ballistic vest after he was shot several times by a suspect as he 'played dead' Friday night.

BYHALIA, Mississippi – A Marshall County Sheriff’s deputy was saved by his ballistic vest after he was shot several times by a suspect as he 'played dead' Friday night.

Deputy Daniel Tatum pulled over a vehicle driven by 33-year-old Randy Vaught on Mt. Zion Road around 6:15 p.m. after he and two other people were seen leaving a suspected drug house, according to Dickerson, according to WREG-TV.

Marshall County Sheriff Kenny Dickerson said that Tatum asked for Vaught's license and insurance, but the suspect didn’t have either and led deputies on a high-speed pursuit to his mother’s house on Hunter's Run.

At the home, Vaught's companions fled the scene as the suspect entered the house through a back door. Dickerson said that Vaught shot Tatum as he opened the door.

Tatum made the decision to play dead, but Vaught walked up to him and shot him several more times in the chest area. Dickerson estimated Tatum was shot three to eight times total with wounds in the chest area, an arm and a leg. He credited the deputy’s ballistic vest with saving his life.

Tatum was transported to a fire station where he was airlifted to Regional Medical Center in Memphis.

As the standoff continued, Vaught kept going to the front door, then darting back inside and kept moving his hands around his waistband.

Around 10:15 p.m., Vaught emerged from the house and began walking towards deputies. "Suddenly, he just stopped and he knelt to his knees and pulled a handgun from the waistband there with the shorts he was wearing, put it to the side of his head and pulled the trigger," Dickerson said.

Deputies later found a suicide note addressed to Vaught's mother inside the house. Vaught was already out of jail on a $100,000 bond for statutory rape at the time of Friday's shooting.

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