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  • 28 December 2013, 19:33

Bank Robber Hunted By FBI After Cop Killed

The FBI has urged the public to help identify a bank robber suspected of shooting dead a police officer in Mississippi.

Two police officers were shot as they confronted the suspected robbers as they were stuck in traffic at a rail crossing in Tupelo on Monday.

The FBI has released a poster showing one of the suspects wearing a "facemask, a shirt or jacket with an 'Aztec' pattern, khaki pants, and tennis shoes similar to the Converse brand".

The public is being asked to help identify the wanted man.

He is described as about 5 feet, 8 inches to 6 feet tall with a slender build, the FBI said. Authorities believe the suspect fled in a grey sedan.

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading to an arrest.

The suspect is also believed to have tried to rob a bank in Atlanta, Georgia, nearly 300 miles away, on the same day.

"Same individual, same day, it's a violent robbery," FBI Special Agent Steve Emmett said, adding that CCTV images from the scene showed a similar individual to those captured in Tupelo.

Police Sergeant Kevin "Gale" Stauffer, 38, died from gunshot wounds while Officer Joseph Maher is recovering in hospital.

Police Chief Bart Aguirre said Officer Maher's wife reported he has greatly improved over the last two days and was able to walk with assistance.

Law enforcement officers from as far away as Alabama; Jackson, Mississippi; and Memphis, Tennessee attended Sgt Stauffer's funeral on Friday.

His family said the strength of the community was helping them get through this tough time.

"Everybody has been so wonderful to us through this week. And, the overwhelming love and support that this community has given us has helped us make it through," his mother, Debbie Brangenberg, told WTVA-TV  in Tupelo.

Anyone in the area with pictures or information is asked to contact CrimeStoppers of Northeast Mississippi at 800-773-TIPS or the FBI's Tip Line at 800-CALL-FBI.

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