North America

Mississippi bank robbers kill one officer, wound another

Security camera photo of one suspect who robbed a BankcorpSouth branch in Tupelo, Miss., on Dec. 23, 2013. (Photo: Tupelo, Miss., Police Department)Bank robbers killed one Mississippi police officer and critically wounded another during a gunfight Monday afternoon.
Tupelo Police Cpl. Kevin "Gale" Stauffer, 38, was shot dead and his unidentified 26-year-old partner wounded when two or three suspects opened fire after a holdup at the BancorpSouth Gloster Creek Village branch about 3:15 p.m., police said, the Daily Journal reported.
The officers were shot while pursuing the suspects, who jumped out of their vehicle and opened fire.
Authorities were looking for a white Yukon SUV that fled east.
A witness said one suspect walked around her car and ignored police orders to get back into his vehicle. She said she then heard gunshots.
At least one officer was shot in the head, witnesses said.
"We are hurting; we are hurting very bad," Tupelo Police Chief Bart Aguirre said at a news conference.
Police did not say how much was taken, what type of weapons the gunmen used or how many shots the officers fired.
Authorities offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to the suspects' capture. The FBI has joined the investigation.
Stauffer was the father of two children, ages 2 and 6, and a Louisiana National Guard veteran. He was a native of Baton Rouge.
His mother heads Tupelo's program to revitalize the downtown business district.
"This is a day that no family, no law enforcement agency or city wants to endure," Mayor Jason Shelton said.

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