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Hero Down: Jackson Police Department Cpl. Michael Tarrio Dies In Motorcycle Crash

Jackson, MS – Jackson Police Department (JPD) Corporal Michael Tarrio died in a motorcycle crash while off-duty on Oct. 27.

The 36-year-old officer was traveling westbound on Highway 80 at approximately 3 p.m. when his motorcycle collided with a pickup truck, WAPT reported.

He was pronounced dead at the scene, a fellow JPD officer said in a Facebook post.

Jackson Police Chief James Davis confirmed the veteran officer’s death in a press release later the same day.

“I am deeply saddened at the sudden passing of Corporal Michael Tarrio,” Chief Davis wrote. “I ask you all to pray for the Tarrio family and the men and women of the Jackson Police Department. Tonight, a family mourns the loss of a son, father, and family member. The Jackson Police Department mourns the loss of an outstanding Police Corporal and friend.”

Cpl. Tarrio, the son of JPD Range Master Herman Tarrio, joined the department on Oct. 31, 2010, as a member of the 47th Police Recruit Class.

“Corporal Tarrio decided to make a name for himself and chart his own path at the Jackson Police Department,” Chief Davis said. “He served in many capacities from Police Officer, Civil Disturbance Team (CDT) member, Direct Action Response Team (D.A.R.T) member, and Police Corporal.”

Cpl. Tarrio was assigned to JPD Precinct Two at the time of his death.

He was named 2019 “Officer of the Year” by the Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers Association for the courage he displayed when he came under fire on May 9, 2018, Chief Davis noted.

The corporal was attacked by brothers Chauncey and Elliot Reed during an incident at a Valero gas station on Cooper Road that day, WTOK reported.

The suspects began shooting at Cpl. Tarrio, who was able to return fire.

Elliot Reed was killed in the shootout.

Chauncey Reed has been charged with murder, WTOK reported.

“Officer Michael Tarrio was literally a hero… A hero who I had the great pleasure of presenting the ‘I Am Jackson Award’ after a shootout that he had, and many of you witnessed on the news, because the video was captured by a local gas station police camera,” Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said during his State of the City address just hours after Cpl. Tarrio’s death.

His friend, Jeronimo Williams, said he and Cpl. Tarrio played football together at Jim Hill High School, WAPT reported.

“A thing I’ll always remember the most about Michael, he was very humble. He was a strong guy, but he was a very humble guy,” Williams said. “He could have [gone] anywhere, but he chose to work right here in our community. Everybody will tell you he was just a respected guy. The way he carried himself, the way he treated people was always fair and honest.”

JPD Spokesperson Sam Brown said Cpl. Tarrio was someone the whole department knew they could depend on, WLBT reported.

“He dotted every ‘I’ he crossed every ‘T,’ he was a friend, he was your backup, he was a great officer,” Brown said. “He didn’t get into a whole lot of anything outside of work or anything, he was an avid motorcyclist, that’s what he did. He learned, he paid attention to the other officers, to older officers, he took great advice and it showed in his worth ethic. He was a great officer, and we’re going to miss him.”

Chief Davis said the longtime officer “served the citizens of Jackson with a servant’s heart” and that he was extremely professional in his actions.

“We will miss you Michael and your loss will leave a void that can never be filled,” the chief said. “I extend my deepest condolences to your family, and I cannot thank you enough for your service to the citizens of Jackson and the Jackson Police Department.”

Cpl. Tarrio was laid to rest on Nov. 4, according to his obituary.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of Jackson Police Department Corporal Michael Tarrio, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin


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