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Slain suspect in Phoenix robbery believed to be killer of Mississippi officer
December 29, 2013 / 8:07 AM / in 4 years

Slain suspect in Phoenix robbery believed to be killer of Mississippi officer

JACKSON, Mississippi (Reuters) - A man killed by police after robbing an Arizona bank is believed to be the same suspect who days before killed a police officer four states away in Mississippi, authorities said late on Saturday.

Wearing a mask, the man entered the bank in Phoenix on Saturday morning and displayed a handgun, filled a bag with cash from the vault and fled, the FBI said in a statement.

The man got into a gun battle with a Phoenix police detective outside the Arizona bank and was shot and killed, the statement said. The suspect’s name was not released.

The man killed by police in Phoenix is believed to be the same suspect who robbed a bank in the northeastern Mississippi town of Tupelo on Monday, and then opened fire on two officers, the FBI said.

Tupelo police Officer Gale Stauffer, 38, was shot at close range and died from his wounds, the FBI and local authorities said last week. Stauffer was promoted to sergeant after his death. The other officer who was shot is in stable condition and expected to survive.

The FBI has said it believes the same suspect hours earlier attempted to rob a bank in Atlanta, Georgia, which is about 300 miles east of Tupelo.

Authorities had launched a multi-state manhunt for the suspect and had offered a reward of more than $200,000.

Surveillance photos from the attempted robbery in Atlanta at a Bank of America show a man wearing a black ski mask and wielding a gun attempting to rob a teller and then demanding money from a customer in an ATM vestibule, the FBI said.

Authorities said they will give more details about the suspect at a news conference on Sunday morning in Tupelo.

Reporting by Emily Le Coz in Jackson, Mississippi; Writing by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Alison Williams

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