TUPELO, Miss. — FBI officials believe the shooting of two Tupelo police officers is linked to an attempted bank robbery in Atlanta earlier the same day.
The Tupelo robbery of a BancorpSouth Bank about 3:15 p.m. Monday was followed by the shooting of Sgt. Gale Stauffer and Officer Joseph Maher.
Stauffer died and was buried Friday following a funeral attended by as many as 1,000 people. Dozens of uniformed officers from Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and elsewhere attended the service.
Tupelo Police Chief Bart Aguirre told the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal (http://bit.ly/19T1FgX) that Maher's condition has improved and he was able to walk some with assistance on Friday. Maher moved out of the intensive care unit at North Mississippi Medical Center and into a private room.
Surveillance photos show a man wearing the same black-and-white patterned jacket tried to rob a Bank of America branch on Piedmont Road in Atlanta around 9:30 a.m. Monday. He was wearing a black ski mask and black gloves and carrying a handgun.
After failing to get any money from a teller, the man demanded and received an undisclosed amount of money from someone who was using an ATM in the bank's lobby. The man was seen leaving in a light gray car with no license plate, possibly a Chrysler 200. Tupelo police believe the man was driving the same car there.
The FBI described the robber as a light-skinned male. He's considered dangerous.
The FBI has raised the reward that it offering for information in the case from $50,000 to a $100,000. That raised the total reward over $200,000.
The agency is asking people with tips to call 1-800-CALL FBI (1-800-225-5324).