June 10, 2022

UPDATE: Dante Bender arrested by MBN and USMS in Ackerman

Therese Apel

Meridian Police Officer Kennis Croom

UPDATE: Dante Bender is in custody. He was taken into custody just before 10:30 a.m. in Ackerman.

As the search for a former police officer accused of killing a woman and a Meridian police officer ramps up, the United States Marshals have doubled down.

There is a $10,000 reward through the Marshals for anyone with information leading to the arrest and prosecution of Dante M. Bender, who police say killed Meridian police officer Kennis Croom, and Bender’s pregnant fiancee, whose name has not yet been released.

The shooting occurred around 5:30 p.m. Thursday night. Authorities say Croom responded to a shots fired call, and when he got there, he found the female victim deceased. Sources said Bender was allegedly going to kill the children at that address as well, and that Croom stopped that from happening. Bender shot Croom in the head and fled the scene.

Croom was pronounced dead shortly afterward. He was a former Jackson Police officer, and had also worked for Brookhaven Police Department. He leaves behind a wife and two children, as well as family and friends all over Mississippi and Alabama.

To report tips, visit www.usmarshals.gov/tips.

This is a developing story.

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