MERIDIAN, Miss. — The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation said a man accused of killing Meridian Police Officer Kennis Croom has been captured, according to WAPT.
Dante Bender, 31, was arrested Friday morning in Ackerman in Choctaw County by members of a U.S. Marshal Service task force.
Earlier in the day, MBI said law enforcement officers were engaged in a manhunt for the suspect accused of gunning down Officer Croom as well as an unidentified woman, Law Officer reported.
MBI said Officer Kennis Croom and the female victim were found fatally shot about 5:30 p.m. on Thursday. The deadly shootings occurred on 51st Avenue in Meridian near the Alabama border, WAPT reported.
Croom was shot and killed while responding to a domestic violence call, Lauderdale County Coroner Clayton Cobler told the Meridian Star. The woman also died in the shooting, according to Cobler.
Croom was originally from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and once worked for the Jackson Police Department. Chief James Davis and JPD extended condolences to Croom’s family, friends and the Meridian Police Department.
“To the family of Officer Croom, I am praying for your strength at this time of immense sorrow. I know there are no words that can ease your pain. I will pray daily that you find solace in his memory; he will truly be missed, he is a hero forever,” Davis said in a statement. “I also want to extend condolences to the young woman who had her life taken away from her in this senseless act of violence.”
Hinds County Sheriff Tyree Jones worked with Croom during their time at JPD Precinct 4, WAPT reported.
“I last spoke with Kennis in April after he sent me a message wanting to ask me a question. I can remember picking up the phone and immediately calling him, because we’d not spoken in a while and I wanted to make sure he was good and answer whatever questions he had,” Jones said in a Facebook post. “We are forever thankful and grateful for his service and we are thankful to his family for their sacrifices by sharing Kennis with various communities to serve. May God be with you all during this difficult time.”