PHOENIX – A suspect killed by Phoenix police in a bank robbery attempt is believed to be the same man accused in the shooting death of one Mississippi police officer and the wounding of another, the FBI said Sunday.
The statement came hours after Phoenix police shot and killed the man 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, Missl, FBI bureau said in an email statement.
Phoenix police declined to provide any comment when contacted early Sunday.
The slain suspect’s name has not been released.
The two officers were shot Monday afternoon, following the robbery of the Tupelo BancorpSouth 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 near 34th Avenue and Thomas Road 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 began giving the man commands, but he raised his gun and fired at the officer.
A detective who had just arrived at the scene shot the suspect.
The suspect was pronounced dead after being taken to a Phoenix hospital.
Officer James Holmes says no officers or bank employees were injured. He says the two officers involved will be placed on standard administrative leave.
In the Atlanta 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.