COVINGTON, Tenn. — A woman was held hostage for nearly 13 hours at a Covington business, ending in an officer-involved shooting that left the suspected gunman killed Friday morning.
Covington Police were called to Dean’s Tax Service off Highway 51 and Peeler Road around 5:20 p.m. on Thursday after the woman was being held against her will.
The woman’s family identified her as Pam Dean, the owner of the tax service center where it happened. The TBI has identified the suspect as 42-year-old Felix Tyler.
Dean’s father, Larry Dean, said she called saying, “Don’t come in here, he’s waving a gun!”
Tyler, Mr. Dean explains, was Pamela’s on-again, off-again boyfriend.
“He said numerous times, he was gonna kill her,” Interim Police Chief Jack Howell said.
Howell said the call was initially a disturbance call but was later upgraded to an armed party with hostages.
An employee who was inside with her child was able to escape. However, Pam Dean was stuck inside with the man she once cared for, who was now holding her captive.
“I always told her, look if y’all can’t get along – you need to separate,” Larry Dean said.
Police negotiated with Tyler until around midnight. Interim Chief Howell said the suspect stated numerous times that he would kill Dean and ‘nobody was getting out alive.’
Multiple law enforcement agencies were called to the scene including Covington Police, the Tipton County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team, and the Tennessee Highway Patrol.
At one point, officers could be heard using a megaphone urging someone to surrender. Sheriff Shannon Beasley said around 12:40 a.m. the suspect cut off all communication with police. Around 5 a.m., police began using chemical agents to get the suspect to talk, but were unsuccessful.
The TBI says that when the SWAT Team entered the building to try to rescue the woman, Tyler fired at them, striking one of the deputies.
The deputy who was shot was later identified as Deputy Gene Molder transported to Regional One. He was shot in the right arm and right torso. He is expected to be okay.
TBI says that at around 7 a.m., another team entered the building to rescue the woman. The officers reportedly shot the suspect after he reached for a gun. Nearly twelve hours after being held hostage, the woman was rescued by deputies and taken to a hospital for treatment.
Tyler was pronounced dead on the scene.
There was happiness for Pamela’s survival mixed in with hysteria from the gunman’s family. In a profound twist, Mr. Dean went to the family of the now deceased gunman to console them, saying he never wanted this as the outcome.
“He’s been a good guy, but he had his ups and downs,” Larry Dean said.