Suspect accused of killing MS officer, convicted of threatening - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Suspect accused of killing MS police officer also convicted of threatening president

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He has been identified as 40-year-old Mario Edward Garnett. He has been identified as 40-year-old Mario Edward Garnett.
This is a mug shot of Mario Edward Garnett from 2010. This is a mug shot of Mario Edward Garnett from 2010.

(WMC-TV) – The Phoenix Police Department has released the name of the suspect that killed a Mississippi police officer during a Tupelo bank robbery. He has been identified as 40-year-old Mario Edward Garnett.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation held a press conference Sunday morning and released more information about the shooting death of the Mississippi officer. Garnett was killed on Saturday by police in Phoenix, Arizona.

The multi-state manhunt came to an end on Saturday in Phoenix, when the suspect allegedly robbed a bank and fired shots at officers. The officers returned fire; Garnett was shot and killed.

"We believe the suspect who robbed the bank [...] in Phoenix, Arizona, and who later was shot and killed in an exchange of gunfire with a Phoenix police detective is the same individual who is responsible for the attempted bank robbery in Atlanta, the robbery of the Bancorp South in Tupelo and the shooting of Officer Joseph Maher and the murder of Officer Gale Stauffer," said FBI Agent Daniel McMullen.

Tupelo officers are happy the man hunt is over.

"This closure has helped us mend and begin to heal that deep, deep wound," said Tupelo Police Chief Bart Aguirre.

Chief Aguirre says he is grateful for the work of all law enforcement officials involved..

Officer Gale Stauffer's widow, Beth, spoke to the community, thanking them for their support.

"Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for shining your light in this time of darkness. Thank you, to all the agencies that worked tirelessly to get this job done. You will forever be in our prayers. You have made it possible for us to move forward toward finding peace for the long road ahead," she said.

Officer Maher was seriously injured in the shooting, but was reportedly able to walk with some help on Friday.

Police say Garnett had served four years in the U.S. Army.

Federal court records reveal that Garnett's run-in with police started in Oklahoma City, where he was convicted of threatening President Obama in 2010.

The felony crime resulted in an eight month sentence in federal prison and court ordered mental health care.

He was also not allowed to own a gun.

Investigators released the final images of Garnett Monday night, but the investigation is far from over. Officials says all of the evidence gathered by investigators following the Phoenix robbery must be examined and compared with evidence gathered from the Atlanta and Tupelo crime scenes.

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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