(TUPELO, Miss.) — The manhunt for a “cop killer” was expanded Thursday to a nationwide dragnet to find the suspected bank robber who fatally shot a Mississippi police officer two days before Christmas.
Cpl. Gale Stauffer and another officer were hit by gunfire Monday when they confronted suspected bank robbers during their getaway in Tupelo, Miss.
As the officers approached suspects in a vehicle, which was stuck in traffic at a railroad crossing, at least one of the suspects opened fire at close range, according to an account posted online at the Officer Down Memorial Page.
The suspects fled, leaving Stauffer fatally shot and another officer critically wounded.
After reviewing bank surveillance video from the robbery of a BancorpSouth bank in Tupelo, authorities are looking for a thin, possibly African-American man with light complexion, standing between 5-feet-9 and 6 feet tall, according to the Mississippi Department of Public Safety.
The suspect seen in the surveillance video was wearing khaki or cargo-style pants, white Converse tennis shoes, a long-sleeved jacket and a blue ski mask, the state public safety department said. A charcoal-colored, medium-sized sedan may have been used as a getaway car.
More than 100 agents, officers, deputies and marshals worked through Christmas to track down the suspects, an FBI official said.
The FBI, BancorpSouth and others are offering more than $152,000 for information leading an arrest in the case.
Stauffer was a combat veteran of the Louisiana Army National Guard, and he had served with the Tupelo Police Department for eight years, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
He was married with two young children, the memorial page said.
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