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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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hokanut December 29 2013 at 3:48 PM

And another one's gone and another one's gone, another one bites the dust, HEY, he wont be robbing YOU, another one bites the dust...

Flag Reply +8 rate up
Davie2743 December 29 2013 at 2:51 PM

Because of people like this thief gun control laws will never be acceptable in many States.

Flag Reply +8 rate up
rjvsrblues December 29 2013 at 11:21 AM

I would not be an officer of the law for any amount of money, these men and women put their lives on the line every day to try tomake this a better world for our children to grow up in. I salute anyone in law enforcement and consider them heros.

Flag Reply +18 rate up
2 replies
banditthebewaver rjvsrblues December 29 2013 at 11:23 AM

30% of all people who call police for help are themselves arrested!

Flag Reply +2 rate up
Princess rjvsrblues December 29 2013 at 3:50 PM

Amen to you rjvsrblues. My husband was deputy and my son is a deputy.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
hvr8956 December 29 2013 at 11:24 AM

MANY KUDOS TO THE PHOENIX, AZ POLICE DEPT. Many do not appreciate what they do every day.

Flag Reply +24 rate up
2 replies
Billy hvr8956 December 29 2013 at 11:44 AM

Thank you thank you.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
jrgumshoe hvr8956 December 29 2013 at 12:03 PM

I know what they do every day: pick on blacks and Latinos.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
2 replies
Paul jrgumshoe December 29 2013 at 2:26 PM

The two minoritys responsible for the majority of the crime there.

Flag +2 rate up
Princess jrgumshoe December 29 2013 at 3:48 PM

Well that's because 90% of crimes are committed by black and latinos..

Flag +1 rate up
dws51564 December 29 2013 at 11:26 AM

One less murderer in jail on the taxpayers back. Hip Hip ......

Flag Reply +24 rate up
3 replies
dave1marine December 29 2013 at 2:37 PM

One more waste of human protoplasm out of society and the criminal justice system. As of 2010, the FBI reports that the average bank robbery nets a little over $7,000. Prison time can 5-25 years, depending on if a gun is used and other circumstances. Either way, WELL UNDER the minimum wage over the span of your time in prison, not to mention the cost to the TAXPAYER for the prosecution, public defender costs, and incarceration. This was a win-win for the taxpayer, as well as the perp.

Flag Reply +9 rate up
csmjwoody December 29 2013 at 11:31 AM

We all know that this was going to be the way it ended for this guy. Repeated attampts by him lessened his chances of getting away and increased his being caught. With his decisions to fire on the police it was inevitable that he would be killed if he did nto kill again before it happened. These two officers did their job and apparently are well trained but it will not lessen the torture they will now go through as they replay this event every day. Excellent job, well done.

Flag Reply +15 rate up
jwfoust December 29 2013 at 11:37 AM

Caught in the act. Shot, killed. No trial, no muss, no fuss. The guy was on the path to kill again. The path came to a dead end. Congrats to the police for doing a fine job. This is not a gun issue. It's a bad guy issue.

Flag Reply +27 rate up
thisistheendof December 29 2013 at 2:23 PM

I will never understand why these perps never think about the families on both sides when they committ these useless greedy acts --- They end lives and force the children to carry this trauma for the rest of there lives and so forth...

Flag Reply +8 rate up
jody December 29 2013 at 11:43 AM

OHH and check out that picture! Someone just lounging on the couch as if nothing is going on!

Flag Reply +3 rate up
1 reply
dinkysus jody December 29 2013 at 12:12 PM

thanks for pointing that out i didnt see that before! wow...

Flag Reply +1 rate up
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