The Murder of Deputy Kyle Wayne Dinkheller

The murder of Kyle Dinkheller is probably one of the worst videos that I have ever seen. It isn’t so much what you see on the video as it is what you hear.

The killer, Andrew Brannon, was sentenced to death over 13 years ago and is STILL appealing his death sentence.

So much for the death penalty being quick in the American South.

Outline where Deputy Dinkheller's body was found.

Outline where Deputy Kyle Dinkheller’s body was found. The blood stains are indicative of where he was hit.

Deputy Dinkheller's patrol car after the gunfight.

Deputy Dinkheller’s patrol car after the gunfight.

Numbered placards indicating where shell casings landed during the gunfight

Numbered placards indicating where shell casings landed during the gunfight

What Deputy Dinkheller's car may have looked like from the killer's perspective.

What Deputy Dinkheller’s car may have looked like from the Andrew Brannon’s perspective.

From the court transcripts at

General Grounds

1. The evidence presented at trial showed the following:  Andrew Brannan left his mother’s house in Stockbridge, Georgia, to drive to his house in Laurens County in the afternoon of January 12, 1998.   He was driving his white pickup truck 98 miles per hour on Interstate 16 when Laurens County Deputy Sheriff Kyle Dinkheller clocked his speed with a radar gun.   Brannan exited the highway and stopped on a rural stretch of Whipple Crossing Road after the deputy caught up to him.   During the pursuit, Deputy Dinkheller activated a video camera which is aimed through his windshield.   The camera captured almost all of Brannan’s actions during the ensuing traffic stop.   Deputy Dinkheller also wore a microphone.   The deputy stopped his patrol car about 20 feet behind Brannan’s truck.   Brannan exited his truck and stood near the driver’s side door with his hands in his pockets.   The right side of Deputy Dinkheller is visible on the tape as he stood next to his driver’s side door.

Deputy Dinkheller said, “Driver, step back here to me.   Come on back here to me.”   Brannan said, “Okay,” but did not move.   The deputy said, “Come on back.   How are you doing today?”   Brannan said that he was okay and asked how the deputy was doing, but still did not move.   Deputy Dinkheller said he was good and repeated, “[C]ome on back here and keep your hands out of your pockets.”   Brannan asked why and the deputy again said, “Keep your hands out of your pockets, sir.”   Brannan responded, “Fuck you, Godamit, here I am.   Shoot my fucking ass.”   He then began dancing in the street, saying, “Here I am, here I am.”   The deputy ordered, “Come here.   Sir, come here,” but Brannan responded, “Shoot me,” and kept dancing.

Deputy Dinkheller radioed for assistance on his belt-mounted radio, and the defendant stopped dancing and approached him.   The deputy said, “Sir, get back.”   Brannan replied, “Who are you calling, motherfucker?” and then rushed the deputy and a confrontation ensued to the left of the patrol car and off camera.   The deputy ordered Brannan to get back nine more times.   Brannan replied with “Fuck you” four times and at one point shouted, “I am a goddam Vietnam combat veteran.”

Brannan then ran back to his truck and began rummaging around behind the driver’s seat.   Deputy Dinkheller remained beside his patrol car and ordered, “Sir, get out of the car.”   The right side of the deputy is briefly visible during this time.   The deputy had drawn his baton, but not his firearm.   Brannan replied that he was in fear of his life.   The deputy shouted, “I’m in fear of my life!   Get back here now!”   Brannan said, “No,” and then pulled a .30 caliber M 1 carbine from his truck.   The deputy radioed for help and shouted for him to put the gun down.   Instead, Brannan crouched by his open driver’s side door.   The deputy shouted for Brannan to put the gun down three more times.   Brannan opened fire and the deputy returned fire.

Deputy Dinkheller was hit and shouted, “Shoot, shoot, stop now!”   Brannan continued firing and advanced to the front of the patrol car.   The deputy apparently tried to take cover behind the patrol car.   Brannan exhausted one magazine, reloaded, and continued firing.   The microphone recorded the sounds of the deputy being shot. At trial, the medical examiner testified that by this time Deputy Dinkheller had been struck by at least nine bullets, in the arms, legs, buttocks, chest, and head.   The medical examiner opined that the deputy, although still breathing into the microphone, had lost consciousness because he was no longer returning fire or crying out when shot.   The video shows Brannan cease crouching, take careful aim with his carbine, say “Die, Fucker,” and fire one last shot.   Brannan then fled the scene in his truck.

Brannan was found hiding in the woods about 100 yards from his house, and he made incriminating statements after his arrest.   He had a gunshot wound to his abdomen.   The police found the murder weapon in his house.

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Posted in Mindset, Officer Safety, True Crime, Video Analysis
33 comments on “The Murder of Deputy Kyle Wayne Dinkheller
  1. gunads says:

    Breaks my heart to see this poor cop murdered the way he was. I agree with you, the moment he pulled out a weapon the cop should have fired his gun until that weapon is dropped.

    Liked by 1 person

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      Liked by 1 person

  2. Excruciating to watch and an entirely needless loss.Taking control of that situation earlier would have been better for everyone involved.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Absolutely!

      The initial noncompliance indicates you are not dealing with someone who will go along quietly and escalation is necessary.

      People often forget about the unarmed combatives aspect of gunfights as well.


    • Among the many errors illustrated, not immediately subduing Brannon and allowing him to move back to his car to grab the M1 Carbine proved fatal.


  3. Krienhagen says:

    One important point that was missed in the synopsis above: The officer ran out of ammo was forced to reload. That is what allowed the perp to advance on him.


  4. Liz says:

    I can’t watch it without crying, so so sad, that horrible man was so cruel and took an innocent life in cold blood. The biggest part that gets me is that he was being so cordial addressing him as sir. Ugh, people f*cking suck. RIP Kyle.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Brian Manion says:

    Heatbroken for his family. Have to take control, 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  6. mrmac24 says:

    Excellent write up. Dinkheller’s death was tragic. Something we can all learn from. Hesitation gets you DEAD. Stay safe out there folks!


  7. tamms says:

    bit off more than he could chew


  8. […] original dashcam video of the Dinkheller’s murder is used throughout United States police academies as a […]

    Liked by 1 person

  9. ebtherabbit says:

    Horrible loss of life. The perp was mentally ill and should have been in a hospital not loose.


  10. Andrew should’ve be executed much time ago
    what are they waiting for?
    dear god

    Liked by 1 person

  11. r says:

    The cop shot first.


  12. jerry c says:

    I hope that sob gets gbanged repeatedly then tortured til he passes out only to wake up and be tortured again, disgusting pos


  13. Victor says:

    May this brave young man forever rest in peace. As for the low-life piece of human garbage who perpetuated this despicable act, I hope he suffers the most miserable pain imaginable. Furthermore, I will be sure to urinate on his grave once the state of Georgia finally executes him with extreme prejudice!!


  14. Gunny says:

    As I write this, Kyle’s killer is scheduled to be executed in five days. I hope it is not delayed and I hope Kyle’s killer has a painful exit from this world.


  15. […] mistakes made by Deputy Dinkheller. Another source says: “A few weeks prior to this incident Deputy Dinkheller had been verbally reprimanded by his superior for being “too quick” to draw his gun.” The […]


  16. TXCOMT says:

    The killer is dead…the State of Georgia finally did the deed tonight!


  17. steve says:

    The killer got off way too easily. He should have been tortured and then suffer a painful slow death. Of course that’s not allowed but its what this pos deserved. Kyle shouldn’t have let him get back to his truck, he should have drawn his gun as soon as he could once the killer attacked him.

    I know its easier to say after the fact when knowing what his intentions were.


  18. Ricky Critchfield says:

    I can’t help but remember and appreciate the old saying “better to be tried by 12 than carried by 6”. I’m perplexed as to the actions of this brave civil servant. Though he did all he could to de-escalate; once the weapon was in the perp’s hands he would have been within his rights, AND obeying universal protocol/self-preservation to deliver a few rounds about the head and shoulders of this dangerous scumbag. May he rest in peace – I pray his widow and orphaned children sleep better knowing this one particular piece of s**t is six-feet under now.


  19. Elliot pennick says:

    I am usaf vietnam combat vet (2 different tours) I cuss a lot like brannon , and I suffer from ptsd & other s/c. Ailments..but I feel that dinkheller was just not “cut out”


  20. Elliot pennick says:

    Dinkheller let brannon know that he was basically afraid of him..he was older, a combat vet,


    • matt lee says:

      I agree. I’m a Iraq/ Afghanistan combat infantry vet and for those who don’t understand PTSD will just think the shooter was heartless and cruel. He warned the cop when he told him he was a combat vet from Vietnam. That cop should have known what he was getting into when he fired the first shot. After that the shooter wasn’t even in Georgia anymore. He was seeing red and having flashbacks and his professional training kicked in. He even spared the cop after he advanced on him the first time and inhis already wounded state the cop tried to shoot him again. That’s when no mercy mode kicked on and the vet had made his decision to fatally wound the cop. The cops slow reload time, reluctance to restrain the shooter initially, poor weapon fundamentals and failure to out maneuver cost him his life. Sad a life was taken but and I hope this video informs viewers the dangers that life can throw at you in an instance and you never know who is capable of what. In the instance of this video the experience of a vietnam combat veteran overcame a young cop who was hesitant with his actions.


  21. David says:

    Elliot Pennick, Matt Lee, combat veterans, and those who fought for our country and for each of us… you do not have the right to be above the law. The men and women of our armed services, our Veterans… fight, fought, and died for the United States. They believed in our laws. I understand some of you have a sickness. But that will never, NEVER, give you the right to break the law, and then kill a law officer. Can you imagine a world where combat veterans, because of what they have been through, can kill at will???? Understand, if you murder a police officer, then I don’t give a damn about your service. You have no right to kill a police officer. And this Brannan “lawbreaker” was warned to stop. It is ridiculous and outrageous that the very special people who signed up to protect our country would believe they have some special privilege, a killing privilege. You have a sickness… so you’re exempt? Well, I’m not. Maybe I have a sickness that isn’t identified by an acronym. Do I get to murder police officers??? No! And there is no way to justify this action. You have been through terrible s**t. And I thank you for defending my country, my allies, and my family. I don’t take that lightly. I support the Warfighter every day; it’s my job (yes, my job). But I will never support anyone like Brannon. Though war is one of the ugliest experiences, it must not be used to allow anyone to commit atrocities on our home ground. And it can’t be used to kill those who protect us on U.S. soil. Brannon was unstable, and I would ask that you consider him not to be representative of our Veterans.


    • Freddie says:

      David, I think you miss the point. Neither of these gentlemen are justifying what this POS did. We would never do that. I understand PTSD well, but I can’t help but to hate Brannon still and I’m so glad he has been rid of this world. But these gents were just trying to explain the effects of PTSD and what is going on in the brain. As Matt stated, once it’s triggered, the person’s brain automatically flashes back to the traumatic events suffered in the past. From what I observed, the flashback occurred once Brannon started acting erratically. That was the reason he went back to his truck. Bless his heart, but once Officer Dingheller fired a shot, the perp’s flashback went in to overdrive and he thought he was back in Vietnam. The poor officer had no idea he was dealing with a loose cannon who should’ve been in a state hospital.

      This is the most heartbreaking video I’ve ever watched in all my life. I remember when this happened. It has never left my mind and although I could NEVER watch it again. The thought of what that officer went through still brings tears to my eyes almost 20 years later. During debates, I’ve often advised my fellow black Americans to Google Deputy Kyle Dingheller, watch the horrible last minutes of his precious life, and then come back and lets talk. It shakes them to the core and now they understand WTF officers go through on a daily basis.


  22. Sandy says:

    Such a sad tragedy for this deputy. The superior who verbally reprimanded him before this happened should also be reprimanded. Had he not been reprimanded for drawing his weapon too quickly he wouldn’t have waited too late to shoot this monster and would most likely still be alive today. Obviously the Georgia superiors need some serious retraining as well to prevent this from happening again. I’m sure he waited to draw his weapon in fear of another reprimand. So sad!


  23. Sheriff Scott Berry says:

    Quoting you from above “A few weeks prior to this incident Deputy Dinkheller had been verbally reprimanded by his superior for being “too quick” to draw his gun on a suspect” Could you please provide me with the name of the person who reprimanded Deputy Dinkheller and details of the incident which led to it? Thank you so much in advance.
    Sheriff Scott Berry, Oconee County Georgia

    Liked by 1 person

    • RealDefense says:

      Your comment spurred me to do some research and so far I cannot find the name of the supervisor nor can I find an older or more primary source that mentions that.

      The story of Dinkheller being reprimanded has been repeated in relatively credible sources like Law Enforcement Today as well.

      Honestly, I find the story believable since Deputy Dinkheller was only 22 (with a kid and likely scared of job loss) and that he also made a point of shouting “I’m in fear of my life” during the incident in a way that sounded like he was trained to say it or it was something rehearsed beforehand.

      Without a primary source, this aspect of the case could just be a “sea story/legend” that spread around over the years or it could be true.

      You may want to file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for all personnel files and case investigation files on Kyle Wayne Dinkheller and on personnel procedures (reprimands/discipline, etc) of the Laurens County Sheriff from that time period (1998).

      I hope this helps.


    • mallory says:

      +Sheriff Scott Bailey The deputy who purportedly reprimanded Kyle Dinkheller, may have been one Sheriff ‘Webb’ of Laurens Country Georgia (1987-2004). allegedly Kyle was speeding towards an incident & a motorist refused to yield, he spoke harshly to the motorist (who was a friend of ‘Webb’) & was forced to write a letter of apology & hand deliver it to Sheriff ‘Webb’, but didn’t & was then threatened with severe consequences. Another Deputy ‘Skip Lowery’ may have also been involved.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Did Dep. Dinkheller have a shotgun available?


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