Tupelo Shooting: Officer Killed During Bank Robbery

By: Tina Volpe - December 25, 2013

On Monday, the day before Christmas Eve, Police Sergeant Gale Stauffer was shot and killed by an assault rifle, and another officer was seriously wounded.

It happened when officers interrupted a robbery at BanCorp South’s Gloster Creek Village branch as the criminals were making their getaway. Witnesses reported seeing one man wearing a ski mask, and carrying an AK-47, the assault rifle that was used on the officers.

Stauffer joined the force in 2005 and has a wife and two young children. He died shortly after the shooting. The other officer, just 26 years of age was listed in critical condition at a local hospital.

Tupelo, Mississippi is deeply saddened at the tragedy and local television station WTVA reported Monday’s shooting could have marked the first death of a police officer in the line of duty in at least 29 years in Tupelo, MS, a small town that is 170 miles northeast of Jackson.

A passer-by, Kenny Steen, heard a racket coming from a pawn store in Tupelo: “We heard some, just a real, ‘burr, burr’ real fast, so we came out and there was cop cars coming they stopped right here in the street,” he said.

Steen added, that he witnessed the moment the officer was shot: “Soon as I came out, there was an officer actually falling, going down.”

Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton acknowledged the community’s grief and called on residents to attend a candlelight vigil on Christmas Eve to honor Stauffer’s bravery.

“The law enforcement is leaving no stone unturned. They’re out following every lead and certainly just pray that they fugitives can be captured,” Mayor Shelton said.

“It’s just tragic. It’s just so much worse when it’s this close to home,” Shelton added.

The FBI is now on the case and a reward is being offered to anyone who can assist them in locating the suspects. The man witnesses saw has been described as 5’9″ to 6′ tall, a thin build with a light black complexion.

Local businesses have donated funds for a reward to anyone with information that leads to an arrest. The reward has reached $160,000.

Image via YouTube

Tina Volpe

About the Author

Tina VolpeTina Volpe is an author, freelance writer and a college student. She loves spending time with her rescued feathered and furry friends... cooking Italian food, reading, writing, hiking and dreams of a huge animal sanctuary. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Google+

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  • Matt Abbott

    “On Monday, the day before Christmas Eve, Police Sergeant Gale Stauffer was shot and killed by machine gun fire” A very sad event indeed, but for one to be killed by machine gun fire there has to be a machine gun. An Ak47 is an assualt rifle not a machine gun. When writing about someone being killed it is even more irresponsible not to fact check a story.

    • Bob R

      Acordingto the AFT, the AK-47 meets the definition of a machine gun: For the purposes of the National Firearms Act the term Machinegun means:
      Any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.

      Like the M-2 Carbine, the AK-47 has a selector switch which can put the weapon in full automatic and coninious firing with one pull of the trigger, thus a machine gun.

      • Molon Labe

        If it was indeed an AK-47 , it was most likely illegal unless it was made prior to 1985 & registered with the ATF.Most likely it was a semi-auto variant , such as the MAK-90 ,which the media & many other gun-ignorant people call an AK-47 simply because of it’s appearance.That would be akin to calling all AR-15s ( semi-auto only ) M-16s or M-4s (select fire).Yes I know the real issue here & it isn’t what type of gun was used.It really doesn’t matter which it was because ALL of them require a human to make the judgement to use it.The human action is the only action that matters here.Punish the deed , not inanimate objects !

      • michael

        a selective fire ak must be registered with atf.so really doubtful that the weapon was an assult s rifle.just more untruthful reportaing.This just like how Obama treated by the mdia

      • Jack Sperry

        Wrong on so many levels its hard to begin.

        Just know that you’re wrong! Period.

      • David

        The AK 47 sold in the US does not have the selector switch nor the automatic seer required to fire fully automatic. It is a semi-automatic weapon which does NOT meet the definition of a machine gun.

    • http://webpro carl long

      IF it was a fully automatic ak then it is a machine gun,if only a semi then it would not be.there are both available to the public.it is also easy to convert a semi into full automatic.

      • Jack Sperry

        Not true. Not convertible to automatic.
        If it’s “easy” to convert, then it can’t be sold in the US by Federal Law.

        Unless they got it and the ability to convert it from the BATFE, then its a semi-automatic.

    • Devildog

      It is an assault rifle capable of automatic fire. If it is roughly equivalent to the M-14 it can produce some 750 rounds per minute. There are fully automatic guns that are slower. So, in effect, it is a machine gun that is shoulder fired.

    • Gary Bruno

      Yes Matt,
      Thanks for clearing that up. It must also be noted that the officer was killed by a POS bank robber. The AK was just a tool. Frankly, if he had uses a knife, we probably wouldn’t have even heard about it. I’ll be glad when the 80% take over again and nullify the media. GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!

    • Jack Sperry


      An AK-47 rifle, available in the US, is NOT an “assault rifle” any more than it is a “machine gun”.

      These are not automatic weapons; which is the definition of “assault rifle” or “machine gun”.
      The AK-47, available in the US, is semi-automatic in nature.
      Don’t be fooled by the media’s attempt to make this event any more horrible than it already is.

      Condolences to the officer’s family, friends and co-workers.

    • lyle harnois

      thats bs….any gun can be modified….m16 is a machine gun because it can shoot 3 rd bursts or more without reloading

    • http://www.tinavolpe-writer.com/ Tina Volpe

      Matt – It is what I read… the story has changed so rapidly, it was difficult to keep up… first it was one man, then several…etc., but I changed the machine gun to assault rifle :) Not being a gun person – for obvious reasons – I wasn’t sure of the difference.

      • Jeni

        Then find out, from a reliable source, before posting it

        • All In

          I’m curious as to where you (the author) read that it was an AK/Assault rifle/machine gun since the authorities have not released what type of weapon was used or the size of the rounds determined by the spent casings at the scene. It seems you would want to verify that information before you assume or find something on the internet that you read. I’m sure if that information has been released to the public and the media that the PIO for the department would be happy to confirm your information before you report it. If it hasn’t been released then there is probably a reason for that – such as an ongoing investigation.

      • All In

        Many studies show that eyewitnesses are particularly bad at remembering details, such as what the perpetrator was wearing or what weapon was used. The story changed rapidly because eyewitnesses had different descriptions.and accounts of what had occurred. Fact checking before you write and post might be beneficial to your career and it would certainly prevent the public from having erroneous information.

    • Ben

      An AK would qualify as a machine gun since it is capable of firing on full automatic.

      • Jeni

        Uh no it is not!! Stop playing into the media propaganda BS! Unless it has been modified in some way which is highly unlikely. Very few know how to do that and the parts needed. are near impossible to get

    • Jeni

      You are aware that an AK is not actually an “assault rifle” either?! I hope! Otherwise, I agree with you 110% about the irresponsibility of the article writer. The term ASSault rifle was coined by the media to play into the fears of the ignorant masses who do not know better. It is nothing more than a scare tactic and propaganda sadly. An AR is merely a SEMI auto rifle which means…it will fire ONE round for each squeeze of the trigger and that is not as fast as people think it may be.

  • David

    where in the world would anyone get a machinegun. this is just a regular rifle i would bet. they need to make these things clear. a semiauto rifle is not a assault rifle. we have all kinds of semiauto rifles, so this is just a semiauto rifle.

    • jeanette

      “JUST” a semiauto???

      • The Yakima Kid

        “Semi-automatics” fire only one round for each trigger pull. There is a great deal of irrational hysteria surrounding them among people who are ignorant or easily frightened.

        I will note that the Our Lady of the Angels School Fire, the Du Pont Circle Hotel fire in Puerto Rico, and the Happy Land Dance Club fire in NYC, that criminals have shown out that they can easily kill far more people than any mass shooter with: a book of matches and a trash barrel; a can of sterno and some discarded furniture; or a gallon of regular.

        Trading freedom for security guarantees you will have neither.

      • David

        Yes just a semi auto, just like the Ruger 10/22 that I bought for my son. Just a larger caliber and magazine capacity.

    • Ben

      AK47 IS the definitive assault rifle. Check facts before you open mouth and insert foot.

    • http://Google Deangelo Gary

      I think people should hold their opinion and really consider the lost of a life and the loved ones that are left with a empty void in their lives because of evil people in this word.

  • Jerald Edwards

    The suspect had a “light black complexion”. Never saw a gray person in my life. Just saying. Next category will be “dark white”. I guess that is gray also. Just wondering.

    • yomama

      Media doesn’t like to say Black guy. Black Perp.ect. They love to say Machine gun and Assault rifle though!

    • Anne

      I guess the PC term you think they should have used would have been bi-racial instead of light black complexion, which doesn’t equate to GRAY.. it equates to a person who has parents of different races or someone whose complexion is lighter than other blacks.

      • Jeni

        or he could be black from both sides and just lighter in color too. jesh, I agree that gray is what comes to mind, but I think anyone with half a brain will understand what they mean

  • The Yakima Kid

    The AK-47 is a selective fire weapon AKA “burst fire” that is capable of fully automatic operation. These are not the AK series sold in gun shops, which are actually autoloaders, sometimes referred to as “semi-automatics.”

    The version legally imported and sold in the US is a separate model that is heavily modified from the original military rifle, and is not capable of fully automatic operation.

    It is quite possible that criminal gangsters may have used illegally smuggled and illegally acquired fully automatic weapons; the Russian gangs have been involved in smuggling them into the US for years.



    • Dan

      A trigger must be pulled for the gun to go off.

    • Tom Lazer

      Better go buy some or know people who own them. Defend yourself.

      The REAL Agenda behind gun control.

      The 2nd amendment AND FREE SPEECH are against the law. The US government is disarming Americans so that we cannot defend ourselves against their tyrannical plans for a NEW WORLD ORDER. FEMA has built 800 ‘DEATH’ camp prisons throughout the US with guillotines and thousands of plastic coffins. If you are a CHRISTIAN or disagree with the government does or is doing you are considered a domestic terrorist. Obama passed a law that they can hold anyone they want in a FEMA death camp or execute AMERICANS as traitors without a trial.

      OBAMA faked his birth certificate. He is NOT an American and legally CANNOT be president. IMPEACH THE IMPOSTER NOW! CLEAN HOUSE. CONGRESS IS FULL OF CRIMINALS. Obama is a Muslim terrorist linked to 20 COMMUNISTS including his (father). His brother is a Jihadist. Barry (Obama) Sortoro was well known as a homosexual in college and promotes the GAY agenda. Obama signed a law protecting MONSANTO, allowing poisoners to continue genetically modifying food which has caused cancer in lab mice and HUMANS for over 40 years. Protecting these killers is an outrage. Our food is not SAFE!

      DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY is PAID for by American taxpayers. DHS recently bought MILLIONS of HOLLOW POINT bullets and 7000 armored vehicles to fight terror INSIDE our country. They are starting a civil war AGAINST all citizens including our own war vets. The face off at the memorial is a perfect example of their disrespect for our veterans. All citizens who are not in the elite 1% will die. Obama has over 150,000 Russian troops already here because many of our military professionals refuse to shoot their own people.

      NSA is illegally tapping your phone, email and home. They use over 5000 keywords to catch you online. Say the wrong thing they label us as a threat to their AGENDA, take us without a warrant and make us disappear. Obama signed into law that in the event of a crisis NSA and DHS can come into our homes without a warrant and take ALL FOOD, survival SUPPLIES and WEALTH from us. Period. Resist and go to prison. LOOK UP AT THE SKY! US AIR FORCE Jets are discharging aluminum dust, barium and several other toxic chemicals. They are CROPDUSTING our state with poisons. See that dust on your car, plants and everything else? That is poison. It contaminates water, food and air.

      False flag events: 911 including demolition of building 7. Sandy Hook school was faked. No bodies or blood. They used actors as victims and used them again at the Boston marathon bombing. In the past 3 months 2 nuclear bombs were transported from middle USA to the east coast near NC. Several generals were fired because this information leaked out. It was supposed to be another false flag event. Obama and his criminals want to attack Iran and have talked about that for a long time. The idea is to explode one nuke over the eastern coast to produce an electro magnetic pulse and shut down all power, computers etc. Then have the second one HIT the ground to kill survivors. They will blame it on Iran or anywhere else to start a war JUST like they did the WTC to attack Iraq.

      People get ready for this because it IS planned and just a matter of a short time before OUR own government starts to exterminate us.

      • Rob Notapsyco

        Wow, I feel so sorry for you! Paranoid much? I think your tin hat is on too tightly! Loosen up, my friend, you are clueless about what is really happening.

      • http://yahoo Johnny

        YOU TELL’M BROTHER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • http://yahoo Johnny

        You Tell’m Sir.
        More, More, More.
        WAKE UP AMERICA !!!!!!!

      • rabnjb

        You need to go quickly and get mental help.

      • Sharon

        Where in the world did you get the idea that Sandy Hook was faked? It was very real.

        What if the police do find this rifle or assault weapon whatever it is and find it’s part of the Fast and Furious Operation ?
        Wouldn’t that be something?

    • http://webpronews E.G.

      Let’s all go out and buy cars and booze. They are involved in many more deaths than guns. BUT tighening laws in those areas wood strike people as too invasive to thier personnal rights. Many many deaths are attributed to drunk drivers. So your right, people don’t cause auto deaths, cars do. Outlaw cars now.

    • http://yahoo.com james

      I own a variety of weapons and am anding a 9th this year.they have never killed anyone.it’s the person not the weapon.so now the government is gonna try to take away peoples rights trying to save them.the law abiding gun owners r tired of liberals who try to take their rights away.punish the criminal not law abiding citizens.

    • http://yahoo Nashuta

      The only thing that keeps Mississippi civilized is the Constitutional right to own guns.

    • don

      A legally armed civilian may have been able to put this miserable excuse for a human being out of his and our problems permently for the good of all of us.

    • http://yahoo Johnny

      Hey Randy.
      Does your Mom know you’re playing on the computer again?
      Guns DON’T kill people! Dumba$$!
      Look at all the people who die in car accidents.
      Is it that CAR that is killing them?

    • Anne

      Randy, you sir are a complete idiot. Your remark or sarcastic humor (or at least your feeble attempt) when our city lost a great officer and a family lost their father, husband, son is nothing but disrespect and is a GLOWING example of why our society is the way it is today. I can bet you would think differently or at least consider your remarks if it was a member of your family that died that day or was fighting to live. Grow up and take your stupidity with you.

    • David

      My pistol has not shot anyone by itself yet.

      • Sharon

        Nor will it ever.

  • Dan

    Fact is machine guns are illegal to own. A machine gun is considered a fully automatic weapon. Fully automatic weapons were made illegal to own in the 1990’s under Bill Clinton.

    • Jim Hughes

      The fact is Machine guns are not illegal to own. You have to fill out the federal forms,be approved,pay the transfer tax and the high cost of a fully automatic gun. Bill Clinton’s bill was about semi-autos that only required cosmetic changes to be legal.

  • Dennis

    Shame, shame all the theses comments, for the most part, were focused on the weapon, AK-47. Comments were more concerned with describing the weapon’s proper function, really. My prayers go out to wife and children of Police Sergeant Gale Stauffer. I am also praying for the recovery of the officer who was seriously wounded. Instead of Christmas being a joyous time of family and friends, it will be a time when children remember Daddy died.

  • http://Yahoo michael

    I am in total shock, not one reply expressing sympathy for the fallen officer or his family. What a horrible incident 2 days before Christmas. He leaves a wife and 2 small children, wonder what Xmas morning is like for them.These cops sacrificed their lives to protect the citizens and community and you are talking about the weapon. When everyone here is talking so freaking stupid about what is or isn’t a machine gun. Why not discuss the ammo used and whether the trajectory was correct. STUPID STUPID STUPID. Oh and by the way, for $25 you can convert that AK to a fully automatic

  • robert swartz

    I’m saddened by the large number of responses focussing on the assault weapon. Who gives a #%^& what
    kind of weapon it was. There’s two small children who are trying to understand why Daddy’s not here
    on Christmas day and a wife who is distraught beyond belief.

    • Molon Labe

      You are correct in that the most important thing is that someone lost their life & won’t be going home.It’s too bad that you only see the comments about the guns & not that the article itself is focusing on the type of gun used.If the media would stop trying to bring attention to the type of weapon used & focus on the real issue as well, then there would be no need to have comments about what kind was used.There is nothing wrong with standing up for your rights ! The media brought this issue up , we are just responding !

      • Anne

        This “freelance writer” is doing nothing but trying to advance her own career. Her bio states “About Tina Volpe
        Tina Volpe is the author of “The Fast Food Craze, Wreaking Havoc on Our Bodies and Our Animals”, Canyon Publishing LLC, 2004; and co-author (with Judy Carman) “The Missing Peace, The Hidden Power of Our Kinship With Animals” (a Silver winner in the Nautilus Book Awards, 2010)- Dreamriver Press, 2009. Volpe is presently at work on a new book with bestselling author Jeffrey M. Masson about the healing properties of a plant-based diet. Volpe is also pursuing a B.A. in English/Creative Writing in an effort to increase her proficiency in freelance, editing and feature writing positions.” SHE WRITES ABOUT THE “HEALING PROPERTIES OF A PLANT BASED DIET” – seriously people, look at the source. How in the h*** would she know the weapon used was definitively an AK-47????? Was she there to witness the shooting and see the weapon first hand??? Does she know what casings were left at the scene??? The size of the rounds used??? And before any of you liberals start in on my statements – I’ll go ahead and answer it – yes, I am part of the LE community here, I do know what was found at the scene, the size of the casings from the spent rounds, and at no time has any OFFICIAL stated what type of weapon or the size of the rounds to the public. There is a reason for this – it is an ongoing investigation and manhunt. There are officers on duty TODAY while you enjoy the comfort of your home, surrounded by family for the Christmas holidays. There is a wife, who is now a widow without her husband and two small children who woke up this Christmas morning without their Daddy because some deranged criminal CHOSE to commit this horrible crime. Before you all spout off about the weapon, where it came from or even what type it was – check the article and the official facts that have been released before you go on your “we have to take away all of the guns so this doesn’t happen”.. let me clue you in just a little – Chicago, NYC and DC have some of the strictest gun laws on the books – yet there are people killed everyday in those cities with GUNS. Criminals do not care about laws and if any of you think that making these weapons ‘illegal’ will stop the criminals from obtaining them – then you are only fooling yourself.

      • Jeni

        AMEN! Thank you Molon Labe for the words or reason

  • Sandra

    A police officer was killed. Incredibly you are arguing over semantics regarding the weapon used to kill a policeman. My dear father, who passed away last year, was on LAPD 30 years and my brother was on the CHP for 39 years. I would be saddened and angered to read these comments if this article had been about one of them. Remember, a police officer was killed.

  • http://webpronews ylab14

    The most IMPORTANT thing to this story is this officer lost his life protecting the citizens of this town. He has 2 small children who are expecting Santa & laughter & excitement today. Not surrounded by people crying hysterically & daddy laying in a coffin instead of handing out toys from under the tree. For the REST OF THEIR LIVES they will always think of CHRISTMAS as this scene. Their mother will ALWAYS relive it & God knows if not for family prayers & friends would not even be able to walk & try to function. People FOCUS on the real story here & remember this family today as you celebrate your Christmas.

    • Saddened


    • Sharon

      I know of kids whose birthdays are 9/11. That date holds so much sadness that their families celebrate on another date. The kids understand. My heart breaks for the family. At times like this, communities, churches, family members step up and support the victims. May God give them comfort.
      Please don’t blame this on God. He gives man free will. The killer or killers made their choice when they/he armed themselves/himself and walked out the door.

  • ed

    I am sick of these fu*kin ads on everything Yahoo does

  • jim

    Nobody needs an AK47 to protect their home and/or family. A 12 gauge
    shotgun used for bird hunting will do fine. If people want the local
    law enforcement officers to be able to do their jobs , they better get a handle on this phony 2nd amendment issue the NRA is shoving down everyone’s throats. Canadian citizens are well armed , but only a
    handful of people die each year from gun shots , while over 30,000 will
    die in the US. Condolences to the family. Not a Christmas to remember for them , especially the children.

    • yomama

      OK what do you suggest. Confiscation? Do you think this perp bought the gun legally. More Ron!

    • Jack Sperry

      Who are YOU to tell me HOW to protect myself and my family?
      Are YOU going to pay for security for my family 24/7/365?

      Didn’t think so! If not,then let me decide HOW to protect myself and my family.

      YOU can go back to drinking the government kool-aid at your leisure.

  • Pam

    How many semi-automatic rifles make a “brrr” type sound when being fire . .

    • Anne

      The scene was chaotic at best. This was less than a mile from my house. There was a FREIGHT TRAIN – not a commuter train coming through the intersection at the time. If any of you have any LE Experience you would know that eyewitness statements are not always the most credible because of the situation. Anyone can say what they think they heard, saw or witnessed and it could be wrong. That is why we try not to rush to judgment on what type of weapon. Where this “reporter” received her information is beyond me. That information has not been officially released and if she is basing this on statements based on “sounds” people heard then this is erroneous reporting and an attempt to sensationalize and ignite a debate on the type of weapon used. She cites no official statements or interviews and what information she does have appears to have come from reading on the internet or watching coverage and making her own assumptions.

      • Sharon

        Remember “Shawshank Redemption” where Timothy Bottoms’ character waited for a very loud thunderstorm to make his break for freedom. If this killer was local, he would know the train schedule and plan his crime accoringly.

      • Sharon

        How many lives have been ruined by eye witness accounts ?
        Men and women rotting away in prison because someone THOUGHT they saw them near a crime scene ?

    • Mike

      The ones that are freezing cold!

  • yomama

    a person with a light black complexion. as opposed to a light skinned Black guy.

  • Anne

    This is not a debate on guns or gun control…for this it doesn’t matter and it isn’t the point. Right now our city is trying to comfort the widow and two small children of Sgt. Stauffer and praying for the recovery of our other officer. This happened in the middle of our city at 3:30 in the afternoon. This community is very close knit and so is our department. Please remember those babies who woke up this Christmas morning without their father and a wife without her husband, while another officer fights for his life. Whatever weapon was used, the fact is the suspect CHOSE to rob that bank, he CHOSE to put innocent civilians in harms way, he CHOSE to do this. There is something inherently WRONG with our society when a person willfully chooses to commit this horrendous crime and all anyone wants to debate is what type of weapon and make it about gun control. It isn’t and never will be. When those of you who blame the availability of weapons for these types of crimes finally realize that criminals do not CARE about what laws there are (that is why they are CRIMINALS) and they will continue to obtain weapons through illegal sources to commit those crimes, maybe you will be able to focus on the real tragedy of this. A great father, husband, son and officer lost his life trying to protect the civilians that were in the area and another is critically wounded. I don’t give a d*** what kind of gun anyone “thinks” another person needs to protect their home, or how a weapon can be modified or reloaded, or how many bullets a magazine can hold. LEAVE IT ALONE AND REMEMBER THE REAL REASON FOR THIS ARTICLE. Instead of concentrating on the type of weapon why not try to help better the community you live in. Become a big brother/big sister, be a role model to a teenager and MAYBE before someone reaches the point of committing this type of act they will have more respect for others. Pray for the families of these officers, for those precious children that will never know their father and will forever remember this Christmas for the rest of their lives. Pray for our city, where here we actually care about each other whether we know each other personally or not. This has hit hard. Tonight, at 5PM our city will hold a candlelight vigil at the park in front of our city hall by our city CHRISTMAS tree to remember the sacrifice of Sgt. Stauffer, his family and the other officer who is still fighting for his life.

    • http://yahoo Johnny

      Anne. Thank You Ma’am.
      I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    • @Anne

      Nothing is that simple. More police are criminals than you can ever imagine. Go behind closed doors and you will see.

      • Anne

        I am behind closed doors. LE for 18 years, married to an officer of THIS department, LE and military family and yes I know there are some that give the rest of us a bad rep. I suggest that whoever you are since you chose to HIDE your identity, try not to group all of us together. There are teachers and priests who abuse children, does that mean all of them are bad???? Go behind closed doors my ass, why don’t you or if you are behind closed doors why not report those officers, teachers, or other criminals instead of passing judgment from behind a computer and making statements about people you know ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ABOUT.

        • @Anne

          Please. I know much more than you realize. Corruption is rampant.

          Report? Report? Report? To who? Other officers? Who are you kidding? So they can investigate their friends? Cops cover or cops. You know this. You have had to have seen it in 18 years. Did you ever report a fellow cop?

          Report. What dream world do you live in?

          • Anne

            I have reported, testified and assisted in getting those who needed it fired. Don’t assume anything about another person. There are other methods to report, the AG’s office, state/federal, etc. While you are hiding behind your computer – Run a search on the MHP officer that is in Federal prison now because he was reported by other officers up to and including the Sheriff. I cannot control what others do, I can control what I report, what I see and I choose not to ignore or cover for anyone… just like when a commander asked me as in dispatch to change the log book. I refused and he is no longer LE. We aren’t all bad. I will freely admit there are those that are, as with any profession (priests abusing children comes to mind). IT doesn’t mean that all of us fall into that category – just as I’m pretty sure all priests don’t either…..

    • Sharon


      Do you have an address where cards and letters can be sent?

      • Anne

        Please use the following address if you wish to send condolences or to obtain funeral arrangements:

        Chief Bart Aguirre
        Tupelo Police Department
        220 N Front Street
        Tupelo, MS 38804

  • Reality

    Words you will never hear from a cop: “Sorry for shooting you.” “Sorry for ruining your life over something actually very small. “Sorry for abusing you behind closed doors.” “Sorry for my hypocrisy.” “Sorry for arresting you for the very same things I am doing.” “Sorry for abusing my authority.”

    Don’t know this guy from Adam. He could be a good guy. One of the good cops. But they are few nowadays. Very few. This isn’t the 1950s. Cops are not your friends anymore. If they are, then that is rare. Look at our prisons — the are full of people that did minor things. Hell, most of those people would not even be in prison in other countries.

    America is brainwashed and does not realize what it has become. A police state that profits off of incarceration. Doubt what I say? Look behind the scenes.

    But you won’t.

    You will sit behind your computer and live in a dreamland.

    • Anne

      I will remember that I “will sit behind a computer and live in dreamland” every time I or my husband puts on a uniform, a bullet proof vest and readies for a 12 hour shift. Or when I call my parents or spouse to tell them that I love them because there is always a chance that he or I will not come home at the end of a shift. I suggest that until you put on a uniform, see the things that we see from the lowest part of humanity on a daily basis, and try to live a normal life that you keep in mind that it is YOU – reality living in a dreamland.

      • @Anne

        Please. Most cops don’t even draw their guns. You think you deal with the lowest part of humanity because that is ALL you see. Cops think they are superior. They are trained to see people as lower.

        You don’t help people. You think sending a person to prison for a decade for smoking a joint is helping a person??? You think you are helping society?

        No, I assure you — you are not.

        Go cry me a river. Change jobs.

        • Anne

          Think whatever you want – I’ll tell the 4 year old that I picked up at 1am walking down the same street this occurred on because his crack whore of a mother was too high to notice or care that he left their apartment alone because he wanted something to eat or when I have to go to a parents house and tell them their child was killed by a drunk driver that night, or when a wife calls screaming that her husband is beating her and broken her leg with a 2×4 that I’m not helping them – I’m hurting them- I’m not superior or better than anyone else. You can think what you want of me or any other officer – it won’t change the fact that I will still go work my assigned shift to protect those who think we don’t help, or be there to comfort a parent whose child bled out in a car wreck and let them know that while EMS was cutting them out of the car I held their child’s hand and talked to them (whether they could hear me or not) so they weren’t alone. Then, maybe if everything works out, I can go spend Christmas with my family. Bless your heart..you just don’t know. BTW – Bless your heart is a term some of us use for people who show their ignorance and stupidity without realizing it so I will say it again, Bless your heart.

          • mart

            Anne, the problem is the people who call police are either victims or trash. I am 49 and I never called a cop for anything. The only thing I would call you for is to bring the body bags or to take the guy off that I made felony citizen arrest on. It is people like me that don’t want to be bothered by your petty BS. It would be great if you could tell the difference before bothering us, but we understand that it takes conversation to know. When you do realize, most of you officers check your self, some do not and need to be reminded of their betters.

    • Ed Sutsman

      Reality’ you must live in a fantasy world. I live in Tulsa, Ok. and know many fine police officers. Sure they arrest people who break the law and in rare instances they have to shoot a criminal before they are shot in the line of duty. They put thier lives on the line every time they put the uniform on. Next time you hav a problem don’t call a “cop” just pick up your phone and call your local gang-banger.

    • Jeni

      sadly you are more right than most want to accept or admit. not all are bad! We are lucky here to have many good LEO’s but, we are also one of few cities who do these days

  • Face It

    Go out to the CDC website. You will see that deaths from simple injuries, poisoning, and cars are more common than death from guns. There is just an agenda to get the guns. A unarmed population can be controlled easier. Look at what every major dictator and fascist did on their rise to absolute power —- they all took the guns. All of them. Wake up America. You are becoming a police state. It is so freaking obvious. Everything since 9/11 has been about controlling you and not terrorists. After all, nothing is impacting terrorists but it is impacting you.

    Want to see what happens to cops in a police state? Go to your local prison and see how awful police can become when given absolute power. There are lots of bad cops. Don’t fool yourself.

  • Jake

    Cops aren’t your friends. They will turn on you in a second. Like someone said above. Look behind closed doors. You won’t like what you see.

  • Mike

    If obama had a son he could have been the shooter!!!! That killed this officer trying to protect the community.
    I wonder if Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and the NAACP will come to MS and rally around finding this killer. OH wait there is no way for them to stir up a bunch of racial hatred over this. It was just a WHITE cop killed by an African American criminal. I bet if the cop had killed the robber the RACE PIMPS would have been all over it!!

  • Skin Master

    Ironically Mikhail Kalashnikov the inventor of the AK-47 died just a few days ago. He was 94.

  • Denise Hampton

    My heart felt prayers go to both families.

  • Ed Sutsman

    A police officer is killed and another critically wounded and families devasdated and all you idiots can do is argue about whether the gun is an automatic or semi automatic. Seems to me the lives lost is a much more useful subject of the conversation than the gun. Not a very important conversation in this situation. All guns are to readily accessable to criminals and hunters don’t need automatic weapons.

    • I.T.

      More people are killed by poisoning and cars than they are by guns.

      You will also find that many criminals are innocent and many people in authority are criminals.

      This isn’t Disneyland. When you were a kid, you thought all cops were great. Then you become an adult and you realize that they aren’t very good after all.

  • Anne

    OMG…. so you all now hate cops and we are all bad? Next time (and there will come a time) when you have a traffic accident, something stolen or Lord forbid something worse don’t worry about calling LE – handle the situation yourself since we are all bad. You know NOTHING about this officer and HOW DARE ANY OF YOU cast a shadow on the character of Sgt. Stauffer or our other officer during this time or group him with others. You never knew him and never will – he served two tours in Iraq before he came to our department. So to Reality, Jake and Face It – I hope you never need assistance from LE, EMS or any other emergency personnel…because most of us put our lives on the line daily to deal with your stupidity. It’s your attitude toward the good ones by grouping all LE together that helps create the bad ones. Why would anyone want to put their life on the line for someone that thinks so little of theirs..

    • @Anne

      Who are you kidding? If the public knew what went on behind closed doors, no one would trust police, but of course, all of it gets covered up and never televised on the national news.

      EMS and emergency personnel are different than cops. Way different.

      Of course we will encounter the police ….. this country is a POLICE STATE. Just look at the statistics. Sounds like you are a cop …. come on …. come clean …. you know there are massive cover-ups. Cops view themselves as god ….. but the public knows the truth. Believe me. They see the millions of people impacted by incarceration and they see cops getting away with the very same things that people are serving decades in prison for.

      Millions of people in this nation.

      By the way, just because you served in Iraq, that doesn’t make you a saint. It means you are a soldier. That is all. Nothing more. Nothing less. Hell, the people in Iraq don’t even want us there. If it wasn’t for oil, we wouldn’t even be there. It sure isn’t for freedom or democracy or for the people.

    • James

      Spare me. You knew cops were corrupt when you went to the academy. As people like you always tell us, ignorance is no excuse…… Blah Blah Blah. He deserved it!!!!

    • mart

      As I said… Cops need to be less petty in their work. I think people are tired of you being revenue police. This is probably your commanders fault. Puling a person over for 5-10 over has to stop. I went to criminal justice college and was taught by the best. You and I both know that the chances of an officer spotting criminal activity on patrol is the same chances a fire fighter patrolling for fires actually spotting one. Have some dignity. Go after the larger action and leave the innocent people alone. Many of us think you can’t get the larger fish so you pick on us easy law abiding citizens. You pull us over while our children are being shot at a school or theatre. Breaking into our window of our house. Be smart, stay in shape and quite the pettiness.

      • Anne

        Mart – I wasn’t aware that you knew me personally. As for the “larger fish” would those be the drug dealers that are caught when they are stopped for speeding, a tail light out or because oil was coming out of the vehicle while transporting?? It was nice to take that dope that was hidden in the engine of the truck (gasket came loose and it was leaking oil) and it was pretty nice to apprehend an escaped prisoner because his buddy was speeding…. It isn’t always revenue – it is the probable cause to stop that leads to that larger fish as you like to call it. Have a great evening everyone and I hope you enjoy the remainder of the holiday season with your families and friends.

  • James

    He probably deserved it

  • Anne

    This “reporter” is a freelance writer working on a book titled “HEALING PROPERTIES OF A PLANT BASED DIET” – seriously people, look at the source. How in the h*** would she know the weapon used was definitively an AK-47????? Was she there to witness the shooting and see the weapon first hand??? Does she know what casings were left at the scene??? The size of the rounds used??? And before any of you start in on my statements – I’ll go ahead and answer it – yes, I am part of the LE community here. Particulars concerning what was found on scene (casings, spent rounds, etc.) have not been released to the public because it is an ONGOING investigation and manhunt and as you enjoy the day with your family – keep in mind that there are officers working today not only to find this perp but to protect the communities they serve while their families wait at home…With that aside, there is a wife, who is now a widow without her husband and two small children who woke up this Christmas morning without their Daddy because some deranged criminal CHOSE to commit this horrible crime. Before you all spout off about the weapon, where it came from or even what type it was – check the article and the official facts that have been released before you go on your “we have to take away all of the guns so this doesn’t happen”.. let me clue you in just a little – Chicago, NYC and DC have some of the most restrictive gun laws on the books – yet there are people killed everyday in those cities with GUNS. Criminals do not care about laws and if any of you think that making these weapons ‘illegal’ will stop the criminals from obtaining them – then you are only fooling yourself.

  • Kozi

    The REASON so many people are commenting on the type of weapon used in this murder is because it would be a first if someone used a legal machine gun. In the 80 years since the NFA of 1934 which highly regulated automatic weapons, no civilian with a legally held machine gun has used it to commit murder. not one.
    There was one cop who murdered an informant with his legally owned gun in the 70’s in Ohio (I believe) but that’s it, and he was not a civilian.
    As far a legality, yes, they are still legal, but only ones that were manufactured and registered with the ATF prior to 1986. I could walk into a shop tomorrow, plunk down $15,000 fill out some paperwork, and after the ATF, FBI and local sheriff perform an in depth background check, After about a year and a $200 federal tax/registration stamp, I would be able to pick up the gun and keep it at my house. Perfectly legal.
    The chances that someone had a legal AK-47 in select fire form are slim, and if they did, they would be the first person in 80 years to commit a murder with it. THAT’S why the discussion is so intent on figuring out what kind of weapon the criminal actually had. There is no disrespect for the murdered police officer intended.

  • Phil

    Let’s talk about reality and not what we see on stupid cop dramas on TV. Here is what a cop will never talk about:

    The US incarcerates the most people in the entire world.
    The US makes billions off of prison labor. Tens of billions.
    The US leads the world in VICTIMLESS crimes.
    Cops pile on charges during arrests and make up charges.
    Cops use selective evidence.
    Cops entrap people all the time — they create crimes so counties can get paid.
    A person who goes to prison for a pot charge may end up dead, raped, beat up, or with a disease.

    Cops arrest people for next to nothing and they destroy lives. Stings are used for profit generation. For every life they save, they destroy ten or they create financial hardships for people.

    If you ever need a refresher on cop abuse, just type cop abuse in your search browser and see what cops get away with. Trust me, you won’t see these things on your nightly news and if you do, it is shown once for ten seconds. But you sure will see long drawn out segments about just how great cops are.

    Cops, if you want to have a better reputation stop arresting people for VICTIMLESS crimes and stop SETTING PEOPLE UP.

    • @Phil

      And you know all of this how?? Because you read it on the internet and we all know everything you read on the internet is the absolute truth… or have you had an encounter with an officer where you may have broken the law or maybe a member of your family IS a CORRUPT officer and you just want everyone to know the truth….???????? Please report, report and tell!!!

  • Anne

    Oh yeah – that’s right EMS is way different. They wait outside the perimeter of a scene before going in to make sure it is cleared by LE. They call us when they are responding to a call so we can go in first and make sure it is secure before they come in. That is way different. It appears you do not have any respect for veterans, LE, or anyone else. I never said anyone was a saint or that there aren’t bad officers our there…because it doesn’t and there are…my point to you is that you state things you know nothing about, about him, this department and officers in general. People think we are all bad, but let something happen and LE usually takes the first call…but that’s ok it’s what I chose to do and I deal with ignorant people who think nothing of my life or those of my family everyday, you are no different. This article and MOST of the people responding here, do not have a clue or have had a bad experience with the police (even though they may have broken the law to have that experience – but I’m sure all criminals are innocent and NO ONE ever breaks the law, ever – just like you are sure all officers are bad)… Why don’t all of you who hate the police and think all are bad just take care of yourselves, don’t worry about calling LE, EMS, FIRE or any other public servant for assistance, handle it. I will still go to work everyday and respond to every call I am assigned, and hopefully come back home at the end of my shift. For now -I’ll leave this to the ignorant and paranoid to keep posting. I have a shift to prepare for, a vigil to attend tonight and a funeral to prepare for..and MAYBE, just maybe I’ll get to spend 30 minutes or so with my family for Christmas and come home in the morning to my family. Merry Christmas! Please keep our city, department and those families that are dealing with the loss of Sarge in your prayers (if you are a praying person), along with the officer still fighting for his life, the ones working this holiday and try to be a little open minded that not all of us are bad or are out to abuse, or on a power trip….some of us are actually people with a compassion to help those who can’t help themselves..and to keep harm from coming to innocent people.

  • madeline

    my prayers go out to officers family! I also pray that they catch the cold blooded culprits!

  • peter

    Haggling over definitions of machine gun and assault rifle? In the face of the wrongful shooting of a human being? Well, seems to be the american way: right to bear arms, never enough fire power, more is better, and all that.

  • Glenda

    It does not matter what kind of gun was used, or does not matter that more people are killed by cars,posions or whatever else you want to list. This family lost a loved one,and another officer is fighting for his life. You should be remembering them in your prayers. At least you can enjoy Christmas, or whatever you are doing instead of having to make funeral arrangements.

  • Anne

    As I leave for work with a very heavy heart… I’ll just say this..one of our officers lost his life and another one is still fighting for his. Whether or not you like the police, think we are all corrupt, abusive, power hungry and out to get each and every innocent person… I will leave you with this statement:
    I would like to take this moment to wish a Merry Christmas to each & everyone of you and your loved ones.
    May your lives & homes be filled with health, happiness, safety, joy, peace, laughter & love this Christmas season and the years to come.
    Make sure that those in your life know you love & appreciate them, hold those special people in your life tight & never let the sun go down on your troubles/worries, for we are not promised tomorrow.
    A special Thank You and remembrance to our Military, Law Enforcement, Medic, Fire, Dispatchers and all the others who give their personal time during the holidays, away from their families, to ensure that all remain safe and have resources available if needed and God’s blessings to those who have sacrificed it all for us.
    Remember the true reason we celebrate this time in our lives, remember to give thanks for what you have, to love one another, extend that helping hand to those less fortunate & let God’s loving grace fill and warm your hearts and lives.
    God Bless you all and again Merry Christmas!

    • mart

      Anne.. I feel for these officers and all of them that help to make this a better place.. You officers do need to drop your pettiness though. These two officers were ill prepared because they deal mostly with small time DUI, speeders(5 over), bar fights, domestic violence, etc. Most officers spend so much time with petty BS that they are out of their league when called to do something big. Quite doing what your commanders tell you… raising revenue. Start doing good police work, and maybe citizens will respect you more. while officers were giving out BS speeding tickets, these two were assaulted… Remember that when you pull the 5 over speeder in the future. Good luck!

  • @all who post

    Read the bio of the person who wrote this article and determine if what is said are all actual facts or what was gathered by reading on internet or watching coverage….

  • mark

    There is only one basic question that is here: Did this particular weapon and the ability it gives the shooter for flicking quickly of a finger enhance the ability of the robber to kill. Maybe one more ? is do the needs of a few gun enthusiasts and the gun sellers outweigh the public welfare to be safe from the hazards of these particular types of guns.

  • jesse

    Heres a sack, heres a gun, don’t come back without that ni**er, son.

  • mart

    Police officers need to understand that they live only because good citizens let them. A police officer, unfortunately is a very easy target for the bad criminals. Most officers are out of shape and they lose their edge when dealing with people because most of who they deal with are law abiding citizens. You take a ruthless criminal , which most are in shape and still have the edge, they will eat an officer for breakfast. Any officer that pulls you over for speeding can be killed easily. They live because the good citizens that they deal with every day let them live. God bless the officers.

  • Sharon

    Bring back the death penalty.
    If we as a society can put a man on the moon, we can make surveilance cameras that take decent pictures.
    Prayers for all involved (and I don’t include the killers).

  • Blitzilla

    Could be Obama’s son

  • John

    Another needless tragedy aided and abetted by that commercial monster Wayne LaPierre. Merry Christmas Wayne. Hope you and yours enjoyed the holiday. Bet the officer’s kin didn’t.

  • Jarand

    The man coming out of the pawn shop described the weapon as going BRRR, BRRR, BRRR like a machine gun. He was close to the scene of the crime. How the crook obtained the weapon is a story to be discussed after he has been caught.

    • All In

      Numerous studies show that eyewitnesses are particularly bad at remembering details, such as what the perpetrator was wearing or what weapon was used. The first criminal law professor I had arranged for someone to run into the classroom, grab his briefcase and run out. He was in the room for approximately two minutes and not one person could agree on the description or whether or not he brandished a weapon because the chaos of the situation (his and the professor yelling and running)and the fact that it was not expected led to inaccurate descriptions and events, down to the words he said. Not every article that you find on the internet is true and accurate..and neither are witness statements (and in this case with a train whistle sounding I don’t think I would totally rely on what the citizens said they saw or heard)…

  • http://CRIMINALLAWYERPHILADELPHIA.INFO Criminal lawyer in Philadelphia

    Want to see what happens to cops in a police state? Go to your local prison and see how awful police can become when given absolute power. There are lots of bad cops. Don’t fool yourself.

  • All In

    Most departments will allow for at least 10MPH over the speed limit before a stop is affected unless it is in a residential area or school zone where there is zero tolerance and if you consider stopping someone speeding through a school zone as only generation of revenue, you sir are mistaken…but then again, if we didn’t stop them and they hit your child, I feel pretty certain your thoughts would be different or if a speeding driver hit and killed or injured a family member of yours, you would be the first to complain that the officers aren’t doing enough. It’s a lose, lose situation. To say he deserved it is nothing but a lack of respect for anyone’s life but your own. As for the statements that these officers were ill prepared…the officer who lost his life was a combat trained veteran that had served two tours in a forward area of Iraq. They were all trapped in the same location because of a freight train blocking the intersection and the suspect exited his vehicle and began firing and even though they were in a heavily populated area there were no civilian casualties or injuries. As far as what an eyewitness says they heard or saw, studies show that eyewitnesses are particularly bad at remembering details, such as what the perpetrator was wearing or what weapon was used. The most accurate thing a witness can do is immediately write down or record a voice note on what they saw, as the small details begin to change after it is told several times, although very few actually do that. That is fact based research. Every profession has corrupt individuals – the painter/contractor who charges for something he really didn’t do, the express oil change place that doesn’t really replace the filter they show you, but will charge you as if they did, those who embezzle money from their employers and the list goes on. The only fact here is that it appears from the posts that most of you think officers only harass innocent people (and whether you like it or not – 1 MPH over the speed limit is breaking a law). On routine patrol an officer may or may not encounter someone during the commission of a crime – but you can bet they won’t hesitate to show up when the victim calls for assistance. Personally, your opinion of me personally doesn’t mean a single thing to me. As I told the last person who called me a SOB that I was happy he had met my mother since he really did appear to know her well…his next statement of F*** you garnered a response of “Sir, that’s not going to happen.” from me. I have my opinion of you, which I’m sure you could care less about. As far as blindly following the commanders orders – when I disagree with that or refuse to drop a ticket because the person was a plain a** on the side of the road, I have repeatedly written reports and filed them with a complaint number so it is on record…that way everyone can see it and it’s on file if needed for reference, IA, or in a disciplinary hearing. I’m not trying to change your opinion of the officers where ever you live and I agree there are bad ones everywhere – it’s up to the good ones and the citizens to report them, and if their supervisors ignore it – there is always the option to move to the state or federal level and file a formal complaint with the AG’s office…. just remember those complaints are sworn affidavits – and we wouldn’t want to expend unnecessary resources for BS complaints and I’m almost certain the person complaining wouldn’t want to be charged with filing a false police report. One last final thing, if officers are so bad and corrupt – put a digital camera in your car and tell the officer who stops you that you are recording this for documentation. If there is an issue, you have it on video. Every major truck stop sells $200 in-car DVR cameras normally used by truck drivers. If it is that much of a concern that you are being harassed – the investment should be worth it to you. I don’t think any of you know Anne personally (if I were her, I wouldn’t want to know you)… but yet you appear to know so much about how she does her job…. interesting. Can you pass that ESP along to the rest of us because that is pretty cool that you can do that.