Corporal Kevin "Gale" Stauffer Tupelo Police Department, Mississippi End of Watch: Monday, December 23, 2013

Corporal Kevin Tupelo Police Department, Mississippi

Corporal Kevin "Gale" Stauffer

Tupelo Police Department, Mississippi
End of Watch: Monday, December 23, 2013

Biographical Info

Age: 38
Tour of Duty: 9 years
Badge Number: Not available

Incident Details

Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: December 23, 2013
Weapon Used: Gun; Unknown type
Suspect Info: At large

Agency Contact Information

Chief Bart Aguirre
Tupelo Police Department
220 N Front Street
Tupelo, MS 38804
Phone: (662) 841-6491

Corporal Gale Stauffer was shot and killed as he and two other officers responded to a bank robbery on South Gloster Street, near the intersection with Main Street, at approximately 3:00 pm.
As the officers approached the suspect(s), who were stopped in traffic at a railroad crossing, at least one subject opened fire on them at close range. Corporal Stauffer was shot and killed and a second officer was critically wounded before the subject(s) fled in a vehicle.
A citizen used one of the officers’ radios to alert dispatchers that the officers had been shot. The wounded officer was transported to a local hospital in guarded condition.
The suspects(s) remain at large.
Corporal Stauffer was a combat veteran of the Louisiana Army National Guard. He had served with the Tupelo Police Department for eight years and had previously served with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office for one year. He is survived by his wife and two young children.

UPDATE: The city has called a second press conference for 10 p.m. to provide an update. (Note, this is a change from original time of 9 p.m.)

Also, BancorpSouth announced they will match the FBI reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to an arrest, bringing the total reward to $100,000.

TUPELO – A Tupelo police officer was shot and killed and another is in critical condition after they responded to a bank robbery on Monday afternoon.

Authorities confirmed that Kevin “Gale” Stauffer, 38, was killed, and that a 26-year-old officer is in critical condition. His name has not yet been released.

The suspects remain at large, and officials have offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to their whereabouts. Individuals with information can call Crimestoppers at 800-773-TIPS or (662) 841-6491.

“We are hurting; we are hurting very bad,” said Tupelo Police Chief Bart Aguirre.

Officers are looking for two or three suspects and are treating it as if suspects are still in the Tupelo area.

Scanner reports mentioned a 6-foot, black male wearing a brown jacket and a blue ski cap. He is believed to be heavily armed, according to the scanner.

The police released this photo of one of the suspects.

The Mississippi Department of Public Safety just released two photos of the suspect’s vehicle, which they described as a gray Dodge Stratus:

The officers were responding to a bank robbery call from BancorpSouth at 430 S. Gloster Street around 3:15 p.m. Officers confronted the suspects and pursued them as they headed north on Gloster Street. A gunfight ensued, Aguirre said. The suspects jumped out and immediately began firing at the officers.

Stauffer was pronounced dead at 3:46 p.m.

He had been a corporal with the Tupelo Police Department since 2005, according to his Facebook profile. He worked as a jailer for the Lee County Sheriff’s Office from January 2004 until November 2005 and was in the Louisiana Army National Guard from 1998 to 2008. He received a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and corrections from the University of Mississippi in 2011, according to LinkedIn.

Stauffer listed Baton Rouge, La., as his original hometown. He and his wife, Beth, have two young children, Dixie and Skip. He is the son of Debbie Brangenberg, executive director of the Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association

Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton called it “a day of great loss and tragedy.”

“We ask the community to provide any information you can,” Mayor Jason Shelton said. “And during this time, particularly this time of year, continued thoughts and prayers. When tragedies happen, we just have to come together as a city.”

Shantiqua Shumpert, speaking to a Daily Journal reporter on the scene, said she was in a car with two adults and a child, between the police and a suspects when the man walked around her car toward the police.

“The police told him to get back in the car, and the next thing I heard were shots,” she said.

At least one of the officers was shot in the head, according to eyewitnesses.

Authorities also said multiple suspects were believed to have left the Carnation Street scene in a white Yukon SUV.

A citizen called in “officer down” using one of the radios of fallen officers.

——————————————

PREVIOUS UPDATES:

UPDATE: Dennis Seid and Robbie Ward are on the scene of the press conference and will be sending live updates.

Mayor Jason Shelton: Today is a day of great loss and tragedy as two of our law enforcement officers have come under attack. He confirms the death of one officer. Asks the public to provide any information witnesses have to police.

Shelton asks for continued support and prayers for both families of officers,” Mayor He said there is a $50,000 award for information leading to whereabouts.

From Tupelo Police Chief Bart Aguirre: About 3:15 p.m., the TPD received a bank robbery call from BancorpSouth on South Gloster.

Officers confronted suspects and gunfight ensued. Suspects jumped out immediately and began firing. 38-year-old Gale Stauffer was killed.

Another 26-year-old officer is in critical condition, in guarded condition. A citizen called in “officer down” using one of the radios of fallen officers.

Says no suspects are in custody. They are conducting many interviews in the ares.

Grief counseling will be provided tomorrow to the Tupelo Police Department.

“We are hurting; we are hurting very bad. Our hearts go out…”

Autopsy will be sent to the state crime lab.

Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson: We are in support role…I urge and encourage information to be called in. Crimestoppers 800-773-TIPS

Said a lot of cartridge casings left at the scene…According to witnesses, suspects heavily armed. Two or three suspects, Aguirre said.

Said we understand it was one vehicle, white SUV, possibly Yukon remains vehicle they think is involved.

Aguirre: Don’t know if police vehicle had dash cam or if it was working. We have to assume they’re in the area and following the case as if they’re in the area.

Also info line to call with any information about robbery, shooting, homicide: (662) 841-6491.

Shelton: “We ask the community to provide any information you can. And during this time, particularly this time of year, continued thoughts and prayers. When tragedies happen, we just have to come together as a city.”

Press conference is now over.

Stauffer, the officer who was killed, had been a corporal with the Tupelo Police Department since 2005, according to his Facebook profile. He worked as a jailer for the Lee County Sheriff’s Office from January 2004 until November of 2005 and was in the Louisiana Army National Guard from 1998 to 2008. He received a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and corrections from the University of Mississippi in 2011, according to LinkedIn.

Stauffer listed Baton Rouge, La., as his original hometown. He and his wife, Beth, have two young children, Dixie and Skip.

According to Facebook, Stauffer appears to have been an avid fan of LSU athletics.

TUPELO – One Tupelo police officer is dead and another in critical condition after a mid-afternoon shooting in the Crosstown area, multiple reports say.

The casualty’s name was not yet released. City officials have set a news conference at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

Law enforcement officers pursued fast-moving vehicles north and east of Tupelo as they seek suspects in the shootings of the two Tupelo officers.

The officers apparently were shot by a suspect described as “heavily armed.”

The shooting was believed to have occurred in the South Gloster – Carnation Street area near the Atlanta Bread Company parking lot, as the officers were in or near their car, pursuing a suspect in connection in a bank robbery of the BancorpSouth branch in Gloster Creek Village.

According to eyewitnesses, a black male approached the two officers and shot them at point-blank range. At least one of the officers was shot in the head, according to an eyewitness.

Shantiqua Shumpert, speaking to a Daily Journal reporter on the scene, said she was in a car with two adults and a child, between the police and a suspects when the man walked around her car toward the police.

“The police told him to get back in the car, and the next thing I heard were shots,” she said.

Authorities also said multiple suspects were believed to have left the Carnation Street scene in a white Yukon SUV. Other scanner reports say officers are pursuing other fast-moving vehicles in the city.

A Daily Journal reporter at the shooting scene observed a “heavy pool of blood” and said numerous law enforcement officers are part of the forces combing the immediate neighborhood. Authorities also are pursuing leads out East Main Street near the Skyline community.

Police have closed all cross-streets on South Gloster from Crosstown to President.

Police are searching for a 6-foot, black male wearing a brown jacket and a blue ski cap. He is believed to be heavily armed, according to the scanner. Authorities are looking for a gray Isuzu SUV.

Meanwhile, city police and sheriff’s deputies are getting help from state game wardens across 10 counties with a be-on-the-lookout alert went out.

Check DJournal.com for more information as it become available.

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