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Monday, September 27, 2021

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Death by choking of black security guard by drunken Army ranger

Ranger Patrick Byrne is charged with murder for killing a security guard who he attempted to prevent from entering a building in Tacoma, Washington.

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Ranger Patrick Byrne is charged with murder for killing a security guard who he attempted to prevent from entering a building in Tacoma, Washington. 

NBC affiliate KING-TV reported that Patrick Byrne was denied entry into an office building after a bar fight in downtown Tacoma on July 18. He attempted to push past Denise Smith, a recently hired security guard, when she opened the door he did not comply, sparked a near 10-minute tussle. Court documents indicate the alleged attacker punched and dragged the guard by her braid before stealing her keys, stabbing her during a struggle, and eventually killing her with them. 

Smith’s body was then allegedly disposed of by Byrne, then he went to a conference room and threw furniture around. The man was later discovered lying on concrete after taking a 14-foot jump from the landing. According to the Daily Mail, Byrne was spotted crying for help by a bystander who called 911. Taking him to a hospital, he said she had beaten him and sexually assaulted him. Neither allegation has been supported by any evidence to date. 

Her body was found at 6 a.m. beaten so badly that it could not be recognized by investigators. In conjunction with the investigation into her death, detectives examined videotape of the encounter. Byrne was arrested as a result. According to him, he blacked out after drinking a night before, so he has no memory of what happened. 

At a hearing on Friday (July 23), he maintained his innocent status while pleading not guilty to two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of first-degree burglary, and two counts of first-degree kidnapping. The bail for his release is set at $2,000,000 at Pierce County Jail. 

“The actions described in reports are absolutely appalling,” the US Army said in response to the tragic incident. United States Army Special Operations Command fully cooperates with Tacoma Police Department. “Our deepest sympathies to the families impacted by this tragedy.” 

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