Monday, December 30, 2013

FBI: Suspect In Tupelo, Mississippi and Atlanta, Georgia Bank Robberies And In The Shooting And Murder Of Tupelo Police Officers Has Been Shot And Killed In Phoenix

Daniel McMullen, special agent in charge of the FBI field office in Jackson, Mississippi; Ricky Maxwell, acting special agent in charge of the FBI field office in Atlanta, Georgia; and Douglas G. Price, special agent in charge of the FBI field office in Phoenix, Arizona, announce the below yesterday:

An individual who robbed a bank yesterday morning in Phoenix and who later was shot and killed in an exchange of gunfire with a Phoenix police detective has been identified as the same individual responsible for the attempted bank robbery in Atlanta, the robbery of the BancorpSouth in Tupelo, the shooting of Tupelo Police Officer Joseph Edward Maher, and the murder of Tupelo Police Officer Kevin "Gale" Stauffer. This identification has been made based upon similarities between these bank robberies, including the clothing worn by the bank robber, statements made by the bank robber during the robberies, and the robber’s overall modus operandi, supported by other evidence and information collected during the course of this investigation. Additionally, cell phone records obtained via court order indicated that this individual’s phone was in Atlanta, Tupelo, and Phoenix when the bank robberies were committed.

Special Agent in Charge Maxwell stated: "While we are thankful that this dangerous individual is no longer a threat to the public, our thoughts and prayers remain with those officers and their families in Tupelo. The law enforcement community worked hard to ensure that this individual wouldn't harm others again, and we can now focus our attention and thoughts on those whom he did harm."

Special Agent in Charge McMullen stated: “Since the beginning of this investigation, the FBI, in collaboration with local, state, and federal law enforcement partners across the United States, conducted dozens of interviews, collected and reviewed surveillance video from numerous cooperative businesses, and examined evidence from the crime scenes in Atlanta, Tupelo, and Phoenix.

This team of investigators, analysts, and law enforcement personnel has been tireless in its efforts thus far and remains committed to bringing this case to its final conclusion and to bringing a measure of peace to the family of Officer Kevin “Gale” Stauffer, Officer Joseph Edward Maher, the Tupelo Police Department, and the Tupelo community.”

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