In a deadly Tupelo shooting on Monday afternoon, Police Sergeant Gale Stauffer was killed by what sounded like machine gun fire; another officer was seriously wounded in the incident.
A passer-by, Kenny Steen, heard a racket which appeared to come 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.
He said he witnessed the moment the officer was shot: “Soon as I came out, there was an officer actually falling, going down,” he added.
What actually happened was that a masked gunman, armed with an AK-47 assault rifle, had entered BanCorpSouth’s Gloster Creek Village branch and demanded money. Police were called, and Stauffer and another officer responded. The robber opened fire, shooting Stauffer.
It seems that the Tupelo shooting could have been avoided if it had not been for the position of a commuter train, which effectively cornered the robbers as well as the police officers who arrived at the scene.
Authorities have confirmed that AK-47 assault rifles were used in the fatal shooting. Tupelo Mayor, Jason Shelton, spoke about the police investigation into the shooting which is currently underway:
“The law enforcement is leaving no stone unturned. They’re out following every lead and certainly just pray that they fugitives can be captured,” he said.
The Tupelo shooting has not been taken lightly by some of the local businesses in the area. They have now raised the reward for information leading to the arrest of the shooter to just over $150,000.
Heather Krutz, who was just down the street when the shooting happened said: “It’s scary. It’s sad. It makes me not want to go in the bank with my children anymore.”
Another resident also expressed their feelings on the shooting: “I’m glad they’re actually doing something about it. It takes a special breed of person actually to do something that low,” said Matt Lavender.
It is hoped by all that the police will find the perpetrators of the Tupelo shooting so that they can be brought to justice and the town can return to its normal routine.