TUPELO, Miss.–The man who killed Cpl. Gale Stauffer is dead, so said the FBI Sunday after Mario Edward Garnett was shot and killed by a detective in a Phoenix, Ariz. bank robbery Saturday. The feds say the man who shot and killed Tupelo officer Stauffer and wounded his partner was not supposed to have a gun after he threatened Pres. Obama in 2010.
“There were numerous similarities in the bank robberies that occurred in Atlanta, Tupelo and Phoenix,” said Special Agent Daniel McMullan, in charge of the FBI in Mississippi at a Sunday press conference.
The similarities included the “Aztec” patterned clothes he wore, the wedge he used to keep the door open at each robbery and the way he spoke to the bank personnel at all three robberies. The first one, the morning of Dec. 23 in Atlanta, was not successful. He moved on that same day to Bancorp South in Tupelo, where Stauffer was shot as he and Officer Joseph Maher confronted him.
McMullan said they have every reason to belive the dead man is the guy they were looking for.
“His phone was in Atlanta, Tupelo and Phoenix at the times of the robberies,” said McMullan.
Maher is still recovering in the hospital.
“Please continue your prayers for Joseph Maher and his family,” said Stauffer’s Widow, Beth Stauffer, “their road is just as long.”
“I think that it will help the men heal that much faster knowing that the suspect is dead himself,” said Tupelo Police Chief Bart Aguire Sunday.
It was still unclear where Garnett was between the time of the Tupelo robbery and the Phoenix hold-up.