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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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1000|Char. 1000  Char.
Marian December 28 2013 at 5:06 PM

Why don't they investigate the crime scene(s) for finger prints or hair from the unidentiable/ unidentified suspect? God some people are really stupid to do stuff like that, I mean robbing a bank and killing a police officer, really?!

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1 reply
Shelley Marian December 28 2013 at 5:25 PM

Not to take anything away from the tragedy but why aren't we just as outraged about the banks stealing from Americans, making the lose their homes and pushing them into poverty? Let's make this a two sided coin. Many children are starving because of banks and the crap they pull.

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G-Dub! December 28 2013 at 4:48 PM

I agree with some of the posters here: This may be a FEMALE suspect, NOT a male. All the body characteristics (from these photos, that is) DOES appear to be SO "slender" that it's NOT the body of a MALE. (Yes, feminists: There ARE differences. Even if you refuse to wear make-up...!)

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lneslusan December 28 2013 at 4:46 PM

Look at the shoulders. It's a women.

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dcirinna001 December 28 2013 at 2:34 PM

I think that is a woman, not a man.

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2 replies
sbgaard dcirinna001 December 28 2013 at 2:40 PM

i think it's a woman too. just the way the gun is held pointed downward like it's too heavy, not like not going to shoot, the stance legs to close together, stride too short and way way too much attention to all the details, the oversized shirt, the new sneakers, shirt pants, the non descript car. and the mask covering entire face -- but i think these photos are not clear - i have not a clue as to race from the photos

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1 reply
dcirinna001 sbgaard December 28 2013 at 3:40 PM

I think she is white. The eye holes are quite large and show a lot of skin.

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hyena74 dcirinna001 December 28 2013 at 3:00 PM

I'm sure they are looking for a man...Cause he had to talk to them...Hard for a woman to fake a man's voice...and vice versa.

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2 replies
dcirinna001 hyena74 December 28 2013 at 3:38 PM

Have you heard a woman who has been smoking crack? The voice is hard to take - sounds like a man. It's a crying shame what crack does to people.

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jody hyena74 December 28 2013 at 3:43 PM

Ummmm you should here women that drink and smoke a lot!!

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rlmcanoe December 28 2013 at 2:35 PM

Condolences to the family and friends of Police Officer Gale Stauffer. I look into his young eyes and can see my son, no image a mother should ever have to face. I hope they find the scumbag quickly before another innocent person is hurt or more. I feel for the family and hope they find peace in his memories.

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MISS ELVIRA !!!! December 28 2013 at 4:44 PM

Well one thing is for sure, they now have nothing to lose. In some states cop killers only get life but in the south cop-killers if convicted can look forward to a date with the grim reaper!

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Robert & Lisa December 28 2013 at 6:09 PM

Arm the law abiding citizens with concealed guns and the criminals like this will never know what hit them.

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2 replies
travelr64 Robert & Lisa December 28 2013 at 6:31 PM

All 50 states now have concealed carry laws. The citizens have the right to arm themselves.

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Jo Burnette Robert & Lisa December 28 2013 at 6:39 PM

Usually law abiding citizens do not react like sociopaths and are ready to kill. That kind of thinking is what gets innocent people killed. If there were no guns, pistols or rifles and only the law carried laser guns, then psychos like this couldn't kill!

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Joe December 28 2013 at 4:40 PM

Now say you don't believe in the death Penalty. Why should we the tax payers have to house this guy for the rest of his rotten life.

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serone!!!! December 28 2013 at 2:40 PM

And, by the way, wouldn't you think they would have better quality videos surveillance in banks! Jeez, that is some CRAPPY footage!!

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1 reply
hyena74 serone!!!! December 28 2013 at 2:59 PM

Agree..I was about to ask the same...I got better camera on my cell phone..lol

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isfemale December 28 2013 at 2:42 PM

looks like a woman to me

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1 reply
gary isfemale December 28 2013 at 2:59 PM

Just a sknny crack head.

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