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Suicidal suspect turns homicidal: Iraq veteran killed in the line of duty

Kurt Wyman was not only a husband and a father — he was also a shining example of the 'S Generation'

On June 7, 2011 at 2008 hours Oneida County Sheriff’s Deputy Kurt Wyman and Mark Chrysler were dispatched to 5488 Knoxboro Road in Augusta New York to a domestic disturbance. They arrived to discover that 41-year-old Chris Patterson had armed and barricaded himself in the home. His significant other and a child fled the home.

The tactical team was summoned and the home was cordoned off. Wyman along with others tried to talk Patterson into laying down the weapon and to end the incident peacefully. The negotiations went on for six hours. Eventually it became apparent to negotiators that Chris Patterson was nearing his final decision. It appeared he was about to take his life with the shotgun he refused to lay down. A move was made to take him into custody — to save his life — and Wyman was a part of the effort.

Wyman and Investigator Nowakowski had negotiated with Patterson along with another officer in an attempt to save him from himself. Patterson showed his appreciation for the effort by firing at both of them, missing Nowakowski, but striking Wyman. Three officers returned fire, hitting and incapacitating Patterson. Patterson is in critical condition and faces a charge of Aggravated Murder.

Kurt Wyman was not only a husband and a father — he was also a shining example of the “S Generation.” He was a Marine Reserve who had served in Iraq in 2008 during the surge. While doing so he won the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal. After returning home he rejoined the Oneida County Sheriff’s Department. He was awarded the “Rookie of the Year” Award in 2010 and had since earned two Grand Cordon Medals for exemplary performance.

Life Goes On
When Kurt Wyman’s wife was notified of the death of her husband, the incredible impact of the tragedy triggered labor pains. Kurt and his wife Lauren are the parents of an 18 month boy and at the time of the shooting she was pregnant with their second child.

On June 8th Lauren gave birth to Kurt’s daughter Adyson Jynette Wyman. The family released this statement after the birth:

"We would like to express our greatest appreciation to our extended family, friends and the community along with the Oneida County Sheriff's Office, his fellow Marines and all other law enforcement agencies. We would also like to acknowledge the wonderful care and sensitivity of all the hospital staff who were involved.”

Losing is Not an Option
This tragedy illustrates what is at stake for officers working the highways, streets and county roads of this nation every day. Nationally there have been 80 officers killed in the line of duty as of June 7th. That number represents 80 outstanding and irreplaceable human beings like Kurt Wyman. Courage and honor drove them all, but did not sustain them. You must win every fight. Losing is not an option.

Remember the fallen every day, and every night. Recommit yourself to your own personal survival, as you slide into your squad car each shift and as you slide out on each call like a high quality knife, unsheathed. Stay sharp and never lose your edge, not even for a moment! Be careful out there and go home to those you love.

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