Tupelo cop killed was from Baton Rouge
BATON ROUGE - A police officer with Baton Rouge ties was gunned down in the line of duty yesterday in Mississippi.
Gale Stauffer, 38, was a graduate of McKinley High School and a member of the Louisiana National Guard.
"It's a sadness that we can't explain," said David Buss, pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Baton Rouge, where Stauffer's father and stepmother are members.
Stauffer was killed Monday while responding to a bank robbery in Tupelo, Mississippi.
"We are hurting very bad," said Tupelo Police Chief Bart Aguirre. "Our hearts go out to the families of these two officers."
Stauffer and another officer were shot while approaching the suspect's vehicle after the robbery. The other officer survived and is in critical condition.
"They'll be burying their son over the Christmas holidays," Buss said.
Stauffer's father and stepmother normally throw a party every Christmas Eve for the congregation at Trinity Lutheran. They left for Tupelo Monday after they got the news of their son's death.
The suspect remains on the loose. Stauffer leaves behind a wife and two young children. He'll be laid to rest at the end of the week in Tupelo.