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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.

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charmed011268melinda December 29 2013 at 6:51 AM

I think it is a thin man also and it does look like the same UNSUB, nothing to lose at this point he killed a cop, when caught it will probably be suicide by cop.

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lr27048 December 29 2013 at 6:44 AM

Very lean man or a woman? The voice may have suggested a man. The walking gate almost suggests military or law enforcement. If that's the car it's probably gone by now. We all have cell phones and can easily spot someone in a bank doorway with a ski mask. The mask is likely removed immediately upon exit. A car may be left running in the parking lot or there may be a get away driver. I'm surprised there are no parking lot pictures posted. The car may be parked away from parking lot survaillance.

This person is obviously on the road a lot. Look inside cars as you walk past, in parking lots everywhere. Try to observe what people are doing in there trunks in parking lots and their actions. Be descreet this person is armed and very dangerous.

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fmuddywaters December 29 2013 at 6:07 AM

Without a deterrent, nothing will change, we,( the good people,) will continue to support the bad guys, ( in prison) (around $ 35,000 annualy,) while they play basketball, watch TV, and study for their Bar exam, for their appeal.

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JIM BOOTH December 29 2013 at 5:49 AM

When a person comes thru the door of a bank or bussiness dressed like that they are not there to apply for a loan or open an account. They have the technology to automatically set off alarms. The person that made the statement about the banks getting FDIC reimbused hit it on the nail.

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fmuddywaters December 29 2013 at 5:45 AM

We need a deterrent, for peoble who due bad things to good people, like public, no trial, hanging, or if you don't want to waist the rope, a ten cent bullet to the head, in public.

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JIM BOOTH December 29 2013 at 5:39 AM

They made a movie about the 1986 roberies in.Ft Lauderdale-Miami. I think it was called the Interstate 95 roberies or killings.

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lael December 29 2013 at 3:35 AM

HOPE HE DOESN'T END UP IN A SHOOTOUT LIKE ONE IN APRIL 1986 IN MIAMI,FLA.!! TWO FBI AGENTS DIED IN THAT CONFRONTATION WITH TWO WELL TRAINED CROOKS SHOOTING BETTER GUNS!! ALWAYS WONDERED HOW THE KIDS ENDED UP OF THOSE TWO MEN FROM THAT APRIL 1986 SHOOTOUT?? DOES ANYONE KNOW??

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mcclintonl4@aol. December 29 2013 at 3:05 AM

tis the season.....

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Cheryl Burroway December 29 2013 at 2:39 AM

I sure hope that this isn't the same guy posted on FB~he is visiting someone in New Castle, Delaware from Georgia...

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jackiemhill December 29 2013 at 2:15 AM

I sure hope they get this bugger. Thief!!

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