Navy names dead jumper

Published 9:23 pm Saturday, July 17, 2010

Authorities with the United States Navy identified the SEAL who was killed BASE-jumping from a cell phone tower in Suffolk Friday.

The Naval Special Welfare Command in Norfolk identified the deceased as Special Warfare Operator First Class Tyler S. Stimson, 30, of Virginia Beach.

The Wakefield, N.H. native was assigned to an East Coast based SEAL team.

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According to Suffolk Police officials, Stimson was killed jumping shortly before 5 a.m. from a cell phone tower located near Godwin Boulevard and Harrell Drive.

Stimson was reportedly declared dead the scene when emergency officials arrived.

A fellow SEAL, Jason James Tompsett, had joined Stimson at the scene and reportedly had successfully made the jump before Stimson’s fatal attempt.

Tompsett has been charged with one count of trespassing after the incident.

According to a city press release, Tompsett contacted police just before 5 a.m. Friday to report an injured person. He gave emergency responders directions to the remote location.

The 259-foot tower is located down a gravel road less than a mile from the 4000 block of Godwin Boulevard. It was constructed in June 2005, and is owned by Boston-based American Towers, Inc.

According to the Navy, Stimson’s was born Feb. 22, 1980, and enlisted into the Navy in June 2002 as a Navy SEAL candidate. Following basic training in Great Lakes, Ill., he went on to graduate the Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) course in 2003 in Coronado, Ca.

The Navy’s press release said that upon graduation from BUD/S, Stimson went on to complete the Navy’s advanced SEAL Qualification Training to earn his trident at the Naval Special Warfare Advance Training Command. Stimson was later assigned to a series of East Coast based SEAL teams where he made multiple combat deployments in support of Overseas Contingency Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan for which he received several combat awards and decorations.

An unidentified senior officer in Stimson’s unit was quoted in the Navy’s release praising Stimson’s performance as a SEAL.

“Tyler was an exceptional SEAL, teammate, husband, son and brother,” the officer was quoted as saying. “His loss will be felt throughout the unit. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Stimson family.”