Mississippi Highway Shootings May Be Linked, Police Suspect Fake Officer

Authorities believe that a fake officer may be behind two shootings along Mississippi highways. They suspect that at least one person has posed as an officer in order to pull people over late at night.

While investigators are not releasing much information about the shootings, or whether they believe the same person is behind the two attacks, they believe that the two shootings are linked.

Huffington Post reports that DeSoto County district attorney John Champion has stated the shootings are related, though they doubt the victims knew each other.

Champion stated:

“We do not have any witnesses at this point. We’re asking the community for help.”

According to WREG, the two victims are Thomas Schlender, 74, and Lori Anne Carswell, 48.

Schlender, of Raymond, Nebraska, was found in his car along Interstate 55 in Panola County, about 1:30 a.m. on May 8th.

Carswell, or Hernando, was found three days later near her car along Mississippi Highway 713 in Tunica County, around 2:15 a.m.

The Tate County, MS Sheriff’s Office urged drivers to be more careful on its Facebook page. They wrote that:

“We urge everyone to be cautious while driving, especially at night. If someone attempts to pull you over with flashing lights and you feel unsure of stopping, DON’T PULL OVER. Use your cell phone and dial 911 and if it’s a real officer then the dispatcher will confirm it for you and if it’s not a real officer they will send help to you. Our deputies have been told not to overreact if someone does not immediately pull over. Your safety is our primary concern.”

MHP spokesman Warren Strain cautioned that:

“If it’s obvious that the car is marked, or if there’s a bar light, or you can see that the officer is uniform — but if there’s any question at all, just call 911. If the option of making a call is not available, try to find a lighted area.”