Amino acids are among the building blocks of life, forming peptides and proteins, and have been carefully `selected' to prevent harmful reactions caused by light. To prevent photodamage, molecules relax from electronic excited states to the ground state faster than the harmful reactions can occur; however, such photochemistry is not fully understood, in part because theoretical simulations of such systems are extremely expensive—with only smaller chromophores accessible. Here, we study the excited-state dynamics of tyrosine using a method based on deep neural networks that leverages the physics underlying quantum chemical data and combines different levels of theory. We reveal unconventional and dynamically controlled `roaming' dynamics in excited tyrosine that are beyond chemical intuition and compete with other ultrafast deactivation mechanisms. Our findings suggest that the roaming atoms are radicals that can lead to photodamage, offering a new perspective on the photostability and photodamage of biological systems.