(Tupelo, MS) A Tupelo police officer has died and a second is in critical condition after a shooting Monday afternoon.
The officers were responding to a robbery at BancorpSouth’s Gloster Creek Village branch when they were shot.
The bank robbery call came in at about 3:15 p.m.
The two officers responded and confronted the suspects on south Gloster Street.
The FBI has expanded the search for the alleged bank robber who shot and killed a Tupelo, Miss., police officer two days before Christmas.
A nationwide dragnet is now in place for the suspected killer of officer Gale Stauffer, 38, who was gunned down Monday in a confrontation with bank robbers as the suspects made their getaway. Another officer, Joseph Maher, 26, was critically wounded in the incident.
UPDATE 5:36 pm from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Phoenix police identified the suspect as Mario Edward Garnett, 40, who is from the Midwest and served four years in the U.S. Army.
Law enforcement authorities believe the bank robber who shot two police officers in Tupelo, Miss. last week, killing one, is the same man later killed in another attempted bank robbery in Phoenix, Ariz., Saturday.
“We believe that this suspect is the same individual who is responsible for the attempted bank robbery in Atlanta, the robbery of the BancorpSouth in Tupelo, the shooting of Officer Joseph Maher, and the murder of Officer Gale Stauffer,” the Jackson, Miss., FBI bureau said in a statement late Saturday.
During the suspect’s getaway in Mississippi Monday, he was confronted at a railroad crossing by Officers Stauffer and Maher. Both were shot at close range. Stauffer, an Iraq War veteran of the Louisiana Army National Guard who had served with the Tupelo Police Department for eight years, died. Maher remains in serious condition.