Valdosta Daily Times

National, International News

December 30, 2013

Secret Service arrested robbery suspect in 2010

PHOENIX — A man suspected in a weeklong bank robbery spree that spanned from Georgia to Arizona and included the shooting death of a Mississippi police officer was arrested in 2010 after making online threats against the president, a Secret Service spokesman said Sunday.

Mario Edward Garnett was living in Oklahoma City at the time of the arrest, Secret Service spokesman Max Millien said. He would not say how the case was resolved.

Authorities have connected Garnett to a Dec. 23 bank robbery attempt in Atlanta, a bank robbery later that same day in Tupelo, Miss., and the shooting death of one officer and the wounding of another just after the Tupelo robbery.

A Phoenix detective shot and killed Garnett just after he robbed a bank Saturday morning.

Phoenix police spokesman James Holmes said at a Sunday afternoon news conference that the 40-year-old Garnett was from the Midwest, had served for four years in the U.S. Army and appeared to have no friends or relatives in Arizona.

Earlier Sunday, the FBI’s special agent in charge in Jackson, Miss., said that records showed the suspect’s cellphone was in Atlanta, Phoenix and Tupelo at the time of each incident.

The agent, Daniel McMullen, also told reporters in in Tupelo that there were “numerous similarities” between the three bank robberies, including the clothing worn by the suspect, statements he made during the incidents and his “overall modus operandi.”

Surveillance photos from the attempted bank robbery in Atlanta showed a man wearing a black-and-white patterned jacket tried to rob a Bank of America branch around 9:30 a.m. on Dec. 23. 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.

Later that same day, the suspect stole an undisclosed amount of money from the BancorpSouth in Tupelo before fleeing in a gray sedan, the FBI has said.

Officers Gale Stauffer and Joseph Maher were responding to a bank alarm and a report that the suspect had fled in a white SUV when they spotted such a vehicle stalled in traffic. The officers were confronting the SUV’s driver when the suspect exited the gray sedan, which was stopped behind the SUV, and ambushed the officers, according to McMullen.

Stauffer died and was buried Friday after a funeral attended by as many as 1,000 people. Dozens of uniformed officers from Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and elsewhere attended the service.

Stauffer’s wife, Beth, said her family was grateful for investigators’ work and for the support they’ve received.

“We can truly begin the healing process, and that could not have happened without the hard work of so very many,” she told reporters Sunday. “Gale would be so proud.”

Tupelo police Chief Bart Aguirre told the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal that Maher’s condition has improved and he was able to walk some with assistance Friday. Maher moved out of the intensive care unit at North Mississippi Medical Center and into a private room.

The Phoenix shooting happened Saturday morning at a Compass Bank branch in the near-northwest part of the city after someone called 911 to report seeing a man run into the bank while wearing a mask.

There were five people inside the bank during the robbery, Holmes said. A customer who ran outside when Garnett turned his attention to the bank manager also called 911.

The first officer to arrive saw the man leave the bank with a bag and a handgun.

“The officer drew his service weapon and began giving the suspect commands at which time the suspect raised his weapon and began firing at the officer,” Holmes said in an earlier statement.

A detective who had just arrived at the scene shot the suspect, who was pronounced dead after being taken to a Phoenix hospital. No officers or bank employees were injured.

Holmes said Garnett drove a rental car to the Phoenix bank. It was unclear where Garnett had been and what he had been doing while in the state.

“We have no idea what he did between the 23rd of December and the 28th of December,” he said.

1
Text Only
National, International News
  • Dollar Tree-Family Do_Rich copy.jpg Dollar Tree buys Family Dollar

    The fight for penny pinchers is intensifying.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • APTOPIX Mideast Israe_Rich copy.jpg Gaza war rages despite Hamas, Israel truce pledges

    Israel and Hamas launched new attacks Sunday in the raging Gaza war, despite going back and forth over proposals for a temporary halt to nearly three weeks of fighting ahead of a major Muslim holiday.
    The failure to reach even a brief humanitarian lull in the fighting illustrated the difficulties in securing a more permanent truce as the sides remain far apart on their terms.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • AP81072904918 copy.jpg Today in History for Tuesday, July 29, 2014

    Today is Tuesday, July 29, the 210th day of 2014. There are 155 days left in the year.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • AP4507280123 copy.jpg Today in History for Monday, July 28, 2014
    Today is Monday, July 28, the 209th day of 2014. There are 156 days left in the year. 
     

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tentative deal reached on VA reform

    The chairmen of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs committees have reached a tentative agreement on a plan to fix a veterans’ health program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records covering up delays.

    July 27, 2014

  • United States-Libya_Rich.jpg US evacuates embassy in Libya amid clashes

    The United States shuttered its embassy in Libya on Saturday and evacuated its diplomats to neighboring Tunisia under U.S. military escort as fighting intensified between rival militias. Secretary of State John Kerry said “free-wheeling militia violence” prompted the move.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • AP9607270692 copy.jpg Today in History for Sunday, July 27, 2014

    Today is Sunday, July 27, the 208th day of 2014. There are 157 days left in the year.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • No ticket for Shrek over loud musical, chief says

    A musical being performed in a New Hampshire park has drawn some noise complaints, but the deputy police chief says he’s “not giving Shrek a ticket.”

    July 26, 2014

  • Arizona Execution Dru_Rich copy.jpg Arizona’s McCain: Execution was torture

    U.S. Sen. John McCain says the execution of an Arizona inmate that lasted two hours was torture.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ukraine Plane_Rich copy.jpg US: Russia firing into Ukraine

    Russia is launching artillery attacks from its soil on Ukrainian troops and preparing to move heavier weaponry across the border, the U.S. and Ukraine charged Friday in what appeared to be an ominous escalation of the crisis.
    Russia accused Washington of lying and charged Ukraine with firing across the border on a Russian village. It also toughened its economic measures against Ukraine by banning dairy imports.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

Top News
Poll

Do you agree with the millage rate increases?

Yes. We need to maintain services
No. Services should have been cut.
     View Results