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Accused cop killer wanted in bank robbery believed dead in Arizona



PHOENIX (AP) - A suspect killed by Phoenix police in a bank robbery attempt is believed to be the same man accused in the shooting death of a Mississippi police officer and the wounding of another, the FBI said Sunday.

The statement came hours after Phoenix police shot and killed a suspect after Saturday's bank robbery attempt.

"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, (Miss.), the shooting of Officer Joseph Maher, and the murder of Officer Gale Stauffer," the Jackson, Miss., FBI bureau said in an email statement.

Both the Phoenix police and local FBI office declined to comment on Sunday's FBI report from Mississippi. The FBI said more information would be provided later in the day in Tupelo. The slain suspect's name has not been released.

The two officers were shot Monday afternoon by a fleeing suspect following the robbery of the Tupelo bank.

Stauffer died and was buried Friday following a funeral attended by as many as 1,000 people. Dozens of uniformed officers from Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and elsewhere attended the service.

Tupelo Police Chief Bart Aguirre told the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal that Maher's condition has improved and he was able to walk some with assistance on Friday. Maher moved out of the intensive care unit at North Mississippi Medical Center and into a private room.

The Phoenix shooting happened Saturday morning at a Compass Bank branch in the near-northwest part of the city after someone reported seeing a man run into the bank while wearing a mask.

The first officer to arrive saw the man leave the bank with a bag and a handgun.

"The officer drew his service weapon and began giving the suspect commands at which time the suspect raised his weapon and began firing at the officer," police spokesman officer James Holmes said in a statement.

A detective who had just arrived at the scene shot the suspect, who was pronounced dead after being taken to a Phoenix hospital.

Holmes said no officers or bank employees were injured. He says the two officers involved will be placed on standard administrative leave.

The FBI in Mississippi said the suspect in the fatal police shooting was also believed to be involved in an Atlanta bank robbery. Surveillance photos show a man wearing a black-and-white patterned jacket tried to rob a Bank of America branch on Piedmont Road in Atlanta around 9:30 a.m. Monday. He was wearing a black ski mask and black gloves and carrying a handgun.

After failing to get any money from a teller, the man demanded and received an undisclosed amount of money from someone who was using an ATM in the bank's lobby. The man was seen leaving in a light gray car with no license plate, possibly a Chrysler 200. Tupelo police believe the man was driving the same car there.

The FBI had offered a reward for information in the case of $100,000, which raised the total reward over $200,000.

Join the discussion

1000|Char. 1000  Char.
Davie2743 December 28 2013 at 5:17 PM

Rest assured this thief will soon meet his waterloo.

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1 reply
Phyllis Davie2743 December 28 2013 at 5:38 PM

Truth be told they probably know more about him than they are letting on, and he will go down in a hail of fire I hope, but be alive long enough to feel the pain. The children of the fallen officer's children lost their father before Christmas, his wife lost her husband, and my condolences go out to them, I have no pity for the pig that killed this officer doing his job. Banks need to get it together, they put a security officer usually a lone officer who has no power, and is told all you can do is that of a regular citizen unless you are threatened with bodily harm, big deal. They need to put cops in the Atrium overlooking the tellers other than that, they are worthless. Lots of times they use retired people as security officers and I am sorry to say, when we get to a certain age our reflexes are not there and our joints hurt like the devil so we cannot do much.

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conservativechristian1 December 28 2013 at 4:10 PM

Women typically do not commit these kinds of crimes, but anything is possible. All I know is I hope they catch this person, and quick...

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1 reply
junior conservativechristian1 December 28 2013 at 4:26 PM

I hope they get into a shoot out and robber killed. Screw using my tax dollars supporting this murderer forever.

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docchuck01 December 28 2013 at 4:04 PM

Well, this individual appears to be either a young woman or a teenager. At first appearance, the picture resembles a woman from what you can see not covered by the mask. But, on a second look, it could also be a young male in their mid teens. Just my opnion.

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The Blue Rose December 28 2013 at 4:00 PM

That looks like a woman. A ladies coat and small hands.

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1 reply
Hello ragpicker The Blue Rose December 28 2013 at 4:26 PM

SMALL SHOULDERS, ELBOWS HIGHER TO THE BREAST (MEN HAVE LOWER ELBOWS) SMALL HANDS, STANCE IS VERY INSECURE NOT ASSERTIVE LIKE MOST MEN. IN OTHER WORDS THIS PERSON IS OUT OF CHARACTER IN THIS COSTUME. bAGGY PANTS TO ADD BULK, BIG SWEATER TO ADD BULK VERY FEMININE MOVEMENT, SEE THE WAY THE HAND IS GOING INTO HER JACKET, SOFTLY BENT AT THE WRIST. A MAN WOULD HAVE A RIGID STRAIGHT HAND GRASP. ALSO THE WAY SHE HOLDS THE WEAPON, ALMOST DOWN TO THE FLOOR. nOT STRAIGHT UP AND ASSERTIVE. SHOWS NO CONFIDENCE WHATSOEVER, SHE OR HE KILLED FOR FEAR OF GETTING CAUGHT... THIS PERSON NEEDS MONEY, A LOT OF MONEY AND NEEDS IT NOW!

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skyhawk72k December 28 2013 at 3:58 PM

You sure you're looking for a man?

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Wrb36us December 28 2013 at 3:57 PM

This person has all the characteristics of a female. I would think the FBI analyst could deduce this for themselves. The bank robber will strike again.

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1 reply
jdtew Wrb36us December 28 2013 at 4:51 PM

Maybe they have made that deduction, they don't tell the press everything.

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bobbobbygee December 28 2013 at 3:51 PM

My heart goods out for Sgt. Stauffer and for all. Said It right Thank-You. Keep the world know//

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Wen December 28 2013 at 3:49 PM

From the general shape it looks like it could be a woman! What a shame an officer had to die.

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jody December 28 2013 at 3:49 PM

Defiantly not a pro. look at the way the idiot is holding the gun! Looks like the gun weighs 50 pounds!

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2 replies
ajax jody December 28 2013 at 3:58 PM

Killed an armed, trained police office and nearly killed another and got away. What's the definition of a pro?

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Hello ragpicker jody December 28 2013 at 4:34 PM

i KNOW WHAT YOU'RE SAYING... ABOUT NOT A PRO, LOOKS LIKE A PERSON DESPERATE FOR MONEY, AND SHOOTS OUT OF FEAR...THIS PERSON IS VERY DANGEROUS BECAUSE HE/OR SHE REALLY WANT TO GET AWAY WITH THE LOOT...

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rcb8181 December 28 2013 at 3:47 PM

Smallest shoulders on a man I've ever seen. I've never noticed a man holding a weapon like that either. I would not be surprised to find out that the suspect is a female.

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