U.S. Marshals arrested Tony Jerome Byrd in the death of Tywon Tatum.
A man who Crestview Police have been pursuing since the July 8 shooting death of Tywon Tatum was taken into custody early Friday by agents of the United States Marshals Service.
Tony Jerome Byrd, who was named as a person of interest in the killing of Tatum the very day the homicide occurred, was apprehended in Atlanta, a news release from the Crestview Police Department said.
He had a gun in his possession at the time of the arrest that does not appear to have been the one used to shoot Tatum.
“The cautions of law enforcement, indicating that Mr. Byrd was considered armed and dangerous, were also confirmed to be accurate,” the news release said.
Byrd, 21, has distinctive tattoos on his neck, including the initials “NFL” near his throat and cursive writing around his collar, police said after the shooting. He was quickly identified as the person who shot Tatum in the chest and quickly fled the area.
An addendum of probable cause provides two witness statements in which Boyd is clearly identified as the shooter. One man told investigators he had just arrived at 1090 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. when he saw Byrd standing just outside of a shed in the backyard of the residence.
The witness testified to hearing an exchange of words and Byrd saying “I’m going to hit you with this” in reference to the gun in his hand.
The witness said he saw Tatum starting to rise out of a chair and, as he was fleeing the scene, heard a single gunshot.
A second witness said she heard Byrd say “I’m going to shoot you” and that when he pulled the trigger it was “at very close range.”
Both witnesses reported seeing Byrd leave the scene in a smaller red vehicle.
Eight days after the fatal shooting, on July 16, law enforcement officers surrounded a home on Old Bethel Road in Crestview after Byrd’s grandfather called with a tip that Byrd was inside. After several hours on scene it was determined that if Byrd had been at the home he had left before police arrived.
Crestview authorities issued a murder warrant on the same day as the would-be standoff.
Despite his young age, Byrd had built a felony record well before becoming a suspect in the death of Tatum.
He was charged in March of 2017 with aggravated battery with a firearm, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon following an incident in which a person was shot in the thigh at a Fort Walton Beach apartment complex.
Court records state one charge was dropped and a second reduced to misdemeanor assault in exchange for Byrd offering a plea in the case. He was reinstated to an existing probationary sentence.
Byrd was also arrested last year for driving under the influence at the time of an accident that caused injury or property damage.
Court records indicate that due to the DUI with damage charge being a felony the case was transferred from County Court to Circuit Court. No record appears in court documents to show how the case was adjudicated.