Meridian, MS – A manhunt is underway for the gunman accused of murdering an on-duty Meridian police officer and an unidentified pregnant woman on Thursday evening.
The attack occurred in the 2400-block of 51st Avenue at approximately 5:30 p.m. on June 9, WTOK reported.
Investigators said Meridian Police Officer Kennis Croom was responding to a domestic disturbance when he was fatally shot by 31-year-old Dante Marquez Bender, according to WSFA.
The body of an unidentified pregnant woman was also found at the scene, WTOK reported.
Details regarding what transpired prior to the shooting have not been released.
The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation (MBI) is handing the ongoing investigation into the fatal attack.
Bender is believed to be driving a black 2004 Nissan Armada bearing license plate “IMANI,” the MBI said in a press release on Tuesday night.
The suspect, 31-year-old Dante Bender may be armed and dangerous, if you see him or come in contact with him, please call 911.
If you have any information on Bender or know his whereabouts, please call 911, 1-855-485-TIPS or email to MBITIPS@dps.ms.gov. All tips are anonymous. pic.twitter.com/IIU8Zkpi9A
— MS DPS (@MissDPS) June 10, 2022
“Bender may be armed and dangerous, if you see him or come in contact with him, please call 911,” the MBI added.
Officer Croom joined the Meridian Police Department (MPD) in October of 2021, according to WFSA.
He previously served with the Jackson Police Department and the Eutaw Police Department, The Birmingham News reported.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Officer Croom began his law enforcement career in 2013.
“We were indeed fortunate that we got an opportunity to work with a passionate officer like him,’’ Jackson Police Chief James Davis said in a press release as news of Officer Croom’s murder spread.
“To the family of Officer Croom, I am praying for your strength during the time of immense sorrow. I know there are no words that can east your pain,’’ Chief Davis wrote, according to The Birmingham News. “I will pray daily that you find solace in his memory. He will truly be missed. He is a hero forever.”
Our condolences goes out to Kennis Croom, his family and the Meridian Police Dept this evening. He was reportedly shot in the line of duty today. He had been with their force since October! pic.twitter.com/oxn96bSgEP
— MS High School Sports Page (@MacCorleone74) June 10, 2022
The Oxford Police Department sends our hearts and prayers to the Meridian Police Department and the fallen officer’s family and friends. pic.twitter.com/lsaYMEO1Ve
— Oxford Police Dept (@OxfordPolice) June 10, 2022
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