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Trooper Randall Wade Vetter | Texas Department of Public Safety - Texas Highway Patrol, Texas Texas Department of Public Safety - Texas Highway Patrol, Texas

Trooper

Randall Wade Vetter

Texas Department of Public Safety - Texas Highway Patrol, Texas

End of Watch: Monday, August 7, 2000

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 28

Tour: 6 years

Badge # 8243

Cause: Gunfire

Incident Date: 8/3/2000

Weapon: Rifle

Offender: Died in prison

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Trooper Randall Vetter died from a gunshot wound he received four days earlier while conducting a traffic stop.

Trooper Vetter had stopped a 72-year-old driver for not wearing a seatbelt. While he was sitting in his patrol car, the suspect exited his vehicle and opened fire with a rifle. The trooper was struck in the head. Trooper Vetter was able to return fire but did not hit the suspect.

The suspect then used the patrol car's radio to say he shot the officer and then attempted to flee the scene. An off duty officer who was passing by, witnessed the shooting and alerted other officers. The suspect was then taken into custody after a brief standoff on the roadway. The suspect was known to local officers for claiming he would shoot any officer who tried to write him a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt. The suspect was convicted of murder and sentenced to life. He died in prison in 2008.

Trooper Vetter had served with the Texas Department of Public Safety for six years. He is survived by his wife and eight-month-old son.

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I was Randy's roommate at St. Edwards University in the Fall of 1992. Later he moved into an apartment unit above me on Riverside while he finished out at St. Edwards and I transferred to UT. The one thing I will never forget about him was the kindness he had for all people. He was truly a 'gentle giant'. I remember his morning routine as a student which always involved wearing a tank top and shorts in the dorm and each morning drinking his Lipton Instant tea mix. I can still hear that spoon 'clanking' on the one glass he kept on the shelf above the dorm style desk. I never heard Randy say a bad thing about anyone. He was to this day one of the kindest people I've ever met. I had no idea of his passing or this event (as I lost touch back in the 1990's when I moved to Houston). Driving down I-35 yesterday 6/3/2016 I saw the sign. My heart sank and I prayed to God that it was not the Randy Vetter I knew. I can't put into words the sadness I feel and how my heart goes back to those days. He was in so many ways too good a man for the people he would encounter in his line of work. He valued people, live and being a good human being. His heart was very big and he cared for everyone. His deep laugh and always smiling face will always say with me.

Darius Barazandeh
Friend / Roommate in College
June 5, 2016

 

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