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U.S. Postal Service employee Tyson Jerome Barnette was killed in Maryland

5:08 PM, Nov 24, 2013   |    comments
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Video: Gunned down postal worker stuns community

U.S. Postal Service worker Tyson Jerome Barnette was killed Nov. 23, 2013 in Cheverly, Md. (Credit: Surae Chinn, Twitter [@suraechinn])

LANDOVER, Md. (WUSA9) -- Police have identified the postal worker who was gunned down while delivering mail.

26-year-old Tyson Barnette of Upper Marlboro was on his assigned route in the 1600 block of Reed Street in Landover, around 7:30 p.m. Saturday when police say he was shot multiple times.

Prince George's County police are asking for help in identifying suspects.

They're offering a $25,000 reward.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is putting up a $100,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and a conviction.

A friend and former coworker stopped by the crime scene where her friend was shot and killed on his delivery route Saturday night.

"It's very sad to see a life taken so easily. It's senseless. People don't care. Life isn't precious no more," she said. "To know that he's gone is unreal."

Resident Paulette Richardson said she "knew they were gunshots because I know what gunshots sound like. I started running."

Kenneth Lerch is President of the Rockville branch of the National Association of Letter Carriers. He represents most of Montgomery County.

He didn't represent Barnette or the area where he was killed but he has been the loudest voice in trying to get postal workers off the streets before it gets dark.

"I'm outraged. I'm more than angry. It didn't have to happen," Lerch said.  

He's been outspoken about the dangers for years and brought it up again just last week in a meeting with the Post Master.

Last year with the District manager he made a grim prediction.

"I said something, someone is seriously going to be injured or worse, or worse, and it happened."

Union members say their routes are longer, they're understaffed and they say after this tragedy something must change.

"It's bound to happen again if something is not done about it, it is inherently dangerous to deliver mail in the dark," Lerch said.

Barnette's friend, who quit this year after working as a postal carrier for more than a decade, says she would often deliver in the dark. 

"I've been out at 10 at night, my coworker until midnight," she said.

"It gets dark at 5 [p.m.], at 7 [p.m.] it's pitch dark out here, Richardson said. "Nobody should be out here delivering mail. I think it's wrong."

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