MARSHALL COUNTY, MS (WMC) - The Marshall County Sheriff spoke for the first time Saturday, after a high speed chase lead to one of his deputies shot and the suspect committing suicide.
Sheriff Ken Dickerson says what happened hits close to home for him, because he personally knew the suspect who committed suicide and shot his deputy.
"I hate that he shot himself. Death is tragic under any circumstances," said Dickerson.
The Marshall County Sheriff's Office says 33-year-old Randy Vaught led police on a high speed chase that ended at his mother's house on Hunters Run. There, he ran in the backdoor.
Dickerson said when Deputy Daniel Tatum chased after him and opened the back door, Vaught shot him several times.
As Tatum lay still on the wood porch, bleeding, Vaught stood over him and shot Tatum several more times in the chest, according to Dickerson.
Dickerson says a bullet proof vest saved Tatum's life.
"That's what, without any question saved his life. One or two projectiles once his vest was removed to get medical attention... one or two projectiles were visible on the inner layer of the vest," said Dickerson.
Tatum was airlifted to the hospital.
Officers converged on the home from all over the region. Sheriff Dickerson was called by Vaught's mother to help convince Vaught to give up peacefully.
Dickerson has known Vaught since he was a child.
"From probably six years old on up through his teens I saw him almost two or three times a week," said Dickerson.
During a four-hour standoff, Vaught walked outside the home several times. Tear gas was used and intense negotiations included Sheriff Dickerson.
It appeared Vaught might surrender when he pulled out a handgun, dropped to his knees and pulled the trigger.
"He left a suicide note directed to his mother about what he was going to do and apologizing for it and so forth," said Dickerson.
On Facebook, Vaught wrote "I love y'all... momma I'm so sorry".
Sheriff Dickerson says witnesses saw Vaught smoke crystal meth earlier in the day. He thinks that contributed to Vaught taking his own life.
"These drugs, particularly now crystal meth and heroin, they're taking a toll on our young people and on a lot of families," said Dickerson.
Sheriff Dickerson says Deputy Tatum has had multiple surgeries and hopefully will make a full recovery.
The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is now investigating the incident.