IUKA, Mississippi – An agent with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics was killed early Saturday after an hours-long standoff in rural north Mississippi ended in gunfire, authorities said.
Officials said James Lee Tartt, 44, of Grenada, was killed in the line of duty in the standoff situation at a home near the town of Iuka in Tishomingo County.
Three other members of the bureau were wounded in the shootout and taken to area hospitals.
Two of the wounded officers had wounds that were not considered life-threatening. The condition of the third was unclear Saturday morning.
Tishomingo County Coroner Mack Wilemon said the gunfire came after a standoff developed at a house where police had responded to some kind of domestic disturbance Friday afternoon.
A state SWAT team was summoned and was forcing its way into the house when the gunfire erupted, Wilemon said.
"They negotiated. They must have decided it wasn't going too well. The SWAT team stormed the house," Wilemon said.
Wilemon identified the suspected gunman as Charles Lambert of Iuka, 45.
During the standoff, a woman and a girl were in the house. Neither was injured.
Tartt had been with narcotics bureau for 16 years, according to Fox affiliate MS News Now. In 2011 he was named the bureau’s Agent of the Year award and and in 2012 he received the H. Lane Caldwell Award of Valor.
He is survived by his wife and two children, the station reported.
Gov. Phil Bryant called Tartt's death a tragedy, according to the Jackson Clarion-Ledger.
“Our men and women in law enforcement put themselves in harm's way every hour of every shift," Bryant said. "This is a tragic reminder that their willingness to serve can exact the highest price.”
The Associated Press contribued to this report.