Tags: bank | robbery | tupelo | officer | killed

Bank Robbery in Tupelo Turns Tragic as 1 Officer Killed, Another Hurt

By Robin Farmer   |   Tuesday, 24 Dec 2013 02:45 PM

A police officer was killed and another was wounded in a bank robbery Monday afternoon in Mississippi, and authorities are offering a $100,000 reward for information about the suspects.

Tupelo Police Chief Bart Aguirre confirmed that 38-year-old police Cpl. Gale Stauffer died after being shot at close range by one of the bank robbery suspects during the getaway, NBC News reported. The gunfight, which occurred on a busy downtown street, critically wounded his unidentified partner, 26.

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The shooting incident may have marked the first death of a police officer in the line of duty in Tupelo in nearly 30 years, NBC reported.

"It's just tragic. It's just so much worse when it's this close to home," Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton told WTVA. "This is a day that no family, no law enforcement agency or city wants to endure."

A gunfight erupted after police officers confronted the suspects while responding to a bank robbery call from BancorpSouth.

Witnesses reported at least one officer was shot in the head.

The suspects remain at large although The Daily Journal reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigations is handling the investigation and is focused on at least one male suspect.

Although there were many witnesses, it is not clear if there were two or three suspects, how much money was taken, or what kind of weapons were used.

Shantiqua Shumpert told the Daily Journal said she was in a car between the police and a suspect 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.

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