Postal Workers Say Letter Carrier Death In Cheverly Was Preventable
CHEVERLY, Md. -
It didn't have to happen. That's what postal workers are saying about the shooting death of letter carrier Tyson Barnette in Cheverly Saturday.
"It appears someone walked up and shot the mailman,"Local 142 President Robert Williams says.
Dozens of postal workers in Landover Local 142 say they have been complaining for months about late start times and understaffing there. And they say it cost their friend his life.
" I'm so sorry that we had to lose a warrior. A street warrior. A letter carrier," Shop Steward Karen Nance said and a candlelight vigil for Barnette Sunday.
" It's really upsetting."
They had a moment of silence for Barnette, but they say his death won't silence their pleas for more staffing. Union leaders say it's a problem throughout the region.
" We're going to have hundreds of letter carriers deliver mail in the dark tomorrow. The routes are twice as big as they were five years ago, and we are understaffed. It doesn't have to be," Union leader Kenneth Lerch says.
Union leaders say Barnette had already finished one route and was finishing up a second one when he was gunned down.
" He was just a hard worker. He was just doing his job, and he was good at it," Natasha Venable says about her friend. Venable says she too worried every day about delivering mail alone after dark."It's not what I signed up for, but you do what you have to do," she says.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is hoping a huge reward will lead them to Barnette's killer. " That's why we're offering $100, 000 dollars for information that leads to an arrest and a conviction," U.S. Postal Inspector Frank Schissler says.
If you have information,the number to call the U.S. Postal Inspection Service is 1-877-876-2455
This is now a joint investigation involving the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Prince George's County Police Department which is offering $25,000 for information in the case. Their phone number is 301-772-4925.
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