UPDATE: Police officer shot, killed pursuing bank robbery suspects

Tupelo Police Officer Kevin "Gale" Stauffer was shot and killed on Monday.

Tupelo Police Officer Kevin “Gale” Stauffer was shot and killed on Monday. Facebook photo.Daily Journal Staff

UPDATE: The Federal Bureau of Investigations is handling the investigation, which is now focused on a male suspect said to be about 5-feet-9 to 6-feet tall, thin, with light complexion, possibly African American.

The suspect may be in a charcoal color, medium-sized, four-door sedan, possibly a Chrysler 200 or a Honda of some type. He also may be on foot, said FBI Special Agent in Charge Daniel McMullen during a 10 p.m. press conference.

The suspect may have been injured and the car may have gunfire damage, McMullen said. He also may be heavily armed.

“This is a very dangerous person we need to get off the streets,” said McMullen, who added there may be other suspects.

The care also could be a rental, because bar codes were seen on some of the windows of the vehicle.

Anyone with information on the suspect(s) whereabouts is asked to call Crimestoppers at (800) 773-TIPS or the Tupelo Police Department at (662) 841-6491. The FBI has offered a reward of $50,000, which has been matched by BancorpSouth, for a total reward of $100,000.

McMullen said information on the suspect is preliminary and the investigation is ongoing. The suspect is believed to be left handed, he said, and witnesses have identified the person’s accent as being unique.

He is believed to have been wearing khaki or cargo pants, white Converse-type shoes, a long-sleeve jacket with a possible “Aztec” design and a blue ski mask.

Also, no update on the other officer was given during the press conference. However, Mayor Jason Shelton indicated that the citizen who called to report the shooting may have saved that officer’s life.

 

PREVIOUS STORY:

TUPELO – A Tupelo police officer was shot and killed and another is in critical condition after they responded to a bank robbery on Monday afternoon.

Authorities confirmed that Kevin “Gale” Stauffer, 38, was killed, and that a 26-year-old officer is in critical condition. His name has not yet been released.

The suspects remain at large, and officials have offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to their whereabouts. Individuals with information can call Crimestoppers at 800-773-TIPS or (662) 841-6491.

“We are hurting; we are hurting very bad,” said Tupelo Police Chief Bart Aguirre.

Officers are looking for two or three suspects and are treating it as if suspects are still in the Tupelo area.

Scanner reports mentioned a 6-foot, black male wearing a brown jacket and a blue ski cap. He is believed to be heavily armed, according to the scanner.

The police released this photo of one of the suspects.

Police released this photo of a bank robbery suspect, also wanted in connection with the shooting of two Tupelo police officers.

Police released this photo of a bank robbery suspect, also wanted in connection with the shooting of two Tupelo police officers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Mississippi Department of Public Safety just released two photos of the suspect’s vehicle, which they described as a gray Dodge Stratus:

Tupelo-Getaway-Vehicle-1

 

 

 

 

 

Tupelo getaway 2 view

 

 

 

 

 

 

The officers were responding to a bank robbery call from BancorpSouth at 430 S. Gloster Street around 3:15 p.m. Officers confronted the suspects and pursued them as they headed north on Gloster Street. A gunfight ensued, Aguirre said. The suspects jumped out and immediately began firing at the officers.

Stauffer was pronounced dead at 3:46 p.m.

He had been a corporal with the Tupelo Police Department since 2005, according to his Facebook profile. He worked as a jailer for the Lee County Sheriff’s Office from January 2004 until November 2005 and was in the Louisiana Army National Guard from 1998 to 2008. He received a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and corrections from the University of Mississippi in 2011, according to LinkedIn.

Stauffer listed Baton Rouge, La., as his original hometown. He and his wife, Beth, have two young children, Dixie and Skip. He is the son of Debbie Brangenberg, executive director of the Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association

Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton called it “a day of great loss and tragedy.”

“We ask the community to provide any information you can,” Mayor Jason Shelton said. “And during this time, particularly this time of year, continued thoughts and prayers. When tragedies happen, we just have to come together as a city.”

Shantiqua Shumpert, speaking to a Daily Journal reporter on the scene, said she was in a car with two adults and a child, between the police and a suspects when the man walked around her car toward the police.

“The police told him to get back in the car, and the next thing I heard were shots,” she said.

At least one of the officers was shot in the head, according to eyewitnesses.

Authorities also said multiple suspects were believed to have left the Carnation Street scene in a white Yukon SUV.

A citizen called in “officer down” using one of the radios of fallen officers.

 

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PREVIOUS UPDATES:

UPDATE: Dennis Seid and Robbie Ward are on the scene of the press conference and will be sending live updates.

Mayor Jason Shelton: Today is a day of great loss and tragedy as two of our law enforcement officers have come under attack. He confirms the death of one officer. Asks the public to provide any information witnesses have to police.

Shelton asks for continued support and prayers for both families of officers,” Mayor He said there is a $50,000 award for information leading to whereabouts.

From Tupelo Police Chief Bart Aguirre: About 3:15 p.m., the TPD received a bank robbery call from BancorpSouth on South Gloster.

Officers confronted suspects and gunfight ensued. Suspects jumped out immediately and began firing. 38-year-old Gale Stauffer was killed.

Another 26-year-old officer is in critical condition, in guarded condition. A citizen called in “officer down” using one of the radios of fallen officers.

Says no suspects are in custody. They are conducting many interviews in the ares.

Grief counseling will be provided tomorrow to the Tupelo Police Department.

“We are hurting; we are hurting very bad. Our hearts go out…”

Autopsy will be sent to the state crime lab.

Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson: We are in support role…I urge and encourage information to be called in. Crimestoppers 800-773-TIPS

 

 

Said a lot of cartridge casings left at the scene…According to witnesses, suspects heavily armed. Two or three suspects, Aguirre said.

Said we understand it was one vehicle, white SUV, possibly Yukon remains vehicle they think is involved.

Aguirre: Don’t know if police vehicle had dash cam or if it was working. We have to assume they’re in the area and following the case as if they’re in the area.

Also info line to call with any information about robbery, shooting, homicide: (662) 841-6491.

Shelton: “We ask the community to provide any information you can. And during this time, particularly this time of year, continued thoughts and prayers. When tragedies happen, we just have to come together as a city.”

Press conference is now over.

Stauffer, the officer who was killed, had been a corporal with the Tupelo Police Department since 2005, according to his Facebook profile. He worked as a jailer for the Lee County Sheriff’s Office from January 2004 until November of 2005 and was in the Louisiana Army National Guard from 1998 to 2008. He received a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and corrections from the University of Mississippi in 2011, according to LinkedIn.

Stauffer listed Baton Rouge, La., as his original hometown. He and his wife, Beth, have two young children, Dixie and Skip.

According to Facebook, Stauffer appears to have been an avid fan of LSU athletics.

 

TUPELO – One Tupelo police officer is dead and another in critical condition after a mid-afternoon shooting in the Crosstown area, multiple reports say.

The casualty’s name was not yet released. City officials have set a news conference at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

Law enforcement officers pursued fast-moving vehicles north and east of Tupelo as they seek suspects in the shootings of the two Tupelo officers.

The officers apparently were shot by a suspect described as “heavily armed.”

The shooting was believed to have occurred in the South Gloster – Carnation Street area near the Atlanta Bread Company parking lot, as the officers were in or near their car, pursuing a suspect in connection in a bank robbery of the BancorpSouth branch in Gloster Creek Village.

According to eyewitnesses, a black male approached the two officers and shot them at point-blank range. At least one of the officers was shot in the head, according to an eyewitness.

Shantiqua Shumpert, speaking to a Daily Journal reporter on the scene, said she was in a car with two adults and a child, between the police and a suspects when the man walked around her car toward the police.

“The police told him to get back in the car, and the next thing I heard were shots,” she said.

Authorities also said multiple suspects were believed to have left the Carnation Street scene in a white Yukon SUV. Other scanner reports say officers are pursuing other fast-moving vehicles in the city.

A Daily Journal reporter at the shooting scene observed a “heavy pool of blood” and said numerous law enforcement officers are part of the forces combing the immediate neighborhood. Authorities also are pursuing leads out East Main Street near the Skyline community.

Police have closed all cross-streets on South Gloster from Crosstown to President.

Police are searching for a 6-foot, black male wearing a brown jacket and a blue ski cap. He is believed to be heavily armed, according to the scanner. Authorities are looking for a gray Isuzu SUV.

Meanwhile, city police and sheriff’s deputies are getting help from state game wardens across 10 counties with a be-on-the-lookout alert went out.

Check DJournal.com for more information as it become available.

  • Beauregard Rippy

    Southeast Memphis!

    • Beauregard Rippy

      Northeast New Orleans.

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  • Lydia

    Prayers for the surviving officer and the family of Officer Stauffer. May God protect Tupelo’s law enforcement officers from ever seeing this kind of evil again.

  • Pingback: Tupelo, Miss., policeman dies in shoot-out after bank robbery; 2nd policeman critical – @DJournalnow | Headlines

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  • albraves

    The photo under “previous updates” with the officers on Carnation Street and fresh blood on the street is completely inappropriate. Please think about the families and friends, and think if it were your family member. Take that picture down.

    • albraves

      Thank you.

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  • Richard

    A lady in a store today said she was happy the men got away, after what happened with Trayvon Martin. How sick can you get????

    • PoFoke

      Stupid racists never cease to amaze me. A suspected black guy head shoots a police officer and wounds another and she is concerned that he would have been what? Or does she consider this Pay Back? Stupid!

  • Richard

    This whole thing took months of planning, a lady said she went to the bank today about 1:30 and a police officer went inside checking the bank out, for what??? My question is this, why are the camera images so bad? With digital cameras this bank could easily afford the best, these pictures are clearly older cameras. They hit the bank when the train came through, Blocking aid from the rest of the police force, so how about it Tupelo, you did a 1.2million dollar study to see about rerouting the train track a few years ago,”A Study” now that two officers were a target without being able to get backup, you have 21 million setting on the shelf, build an overpass or something. Then one officer was unarmed???? Really going to a bank robbery in motion unarmed? Well my most heart felt condolences to the families especially the children. Sad day for Tupelo and Families

  • usmcmailman

    It was not a robbery. They were just trying to redistribute the wealth !

    • Thile

      “Here’s some lame joke I thought wuz funny! Hurr Hurr!”

      Was your intelligence redistributed? A police officer is dead today and another one wounded; families, friends, and coworkers are trying to cope with those losses. Grow up.

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  • TWBDB

    Horrible!! They’ve got to catch these monsters!! How many rental car agencies rent Dodge Stratus? That’s not a common rental (if this turns out to be a rental car).

  • J Bello

    Those 1980 surveillance systems still used 2013 provide as much security as smoke and mirrors.
    BancorpSouth like other banks and business prove how much they really care about your safety when they use crap survielance equipment and refuse to spend a dime on updating their crap equipment.

    BancorpSouth CEO James Rollins is paid well over $3,000,000 a year, so I guess it would be too much to ask that he updates Surveillance Systems to at least Radio Shack quality.

    • Richard

      Thank you, my sentiment exactly.

  • Jeff

    My prayers and heart goes out to these family’s. My family and friends want Tupelo PD to know we Love and support what you do everyday, and thank God for your efforts everyday to our lives and community. I was raised in Tupelo, Ms. and Have moved away but this is my home town always and always will be.

  • sherrybg1

    Conflicting stories on automobile used,white Yukon ,gray stratus,gray 200,honda they can’t even get that straight.