Letter carrier's attack puts area on alert

(WJLA) - The murder of a Postal worker in November and the recent kidnapping and attack of another mail carrier has everyone on alert.

“No, not again” was the first thing that crossed the minds of 26-year-old Tyson Barnette’s family when they learned another U.S. Postal worker was the victim of violence in the D.C. metro area. Barnette was gunned down while delivering mail in Landover on Nov. 23.

“It’s still hard to believe and comprehend that it happened,” says his aunt.

Barnette’s aunt spoke with ABC7 News by phone from South Carolina where his entire family lives and where he is buried.

Despite a $125,000 reward, his murder remains unsolved.

On Tuesday, a 54-year-old letter carrier was kidnapped off the streets of Northeast D.C. while he was on his route. During the terrifying ordeal, the masked gunmen, who were upset about not receiving a package, repeatedly pistol whipped the Postal worker, tied him up and later dumped him after he started praying out loud.

“I am thankful that he is still alive, too. He could have ended up like Tyson," Barnette's aunt says.

On the heel of her nephew's murder was a loud cry from Postal workers to end their shifts after dark.

Tuesday's kidnapping and assault happened at 4 p.m. Barnette's aunt says letter carriers didn't sign up to physically defend themselves on the streets.

“They didn’t sign up to fight criminals with weapons,” she says. “They didn’t sign up for it, they weren’t trained for it, they are not prepared for it.”