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Mississippi police officer killed while responding to disturbance call that left one woman dead

By Paradise Afshar and Jamiel Lynch, CNN

A police officer in Mississippi was killed Thursday responding to a domestic disturbance call that left a woman dead, according to Meridian police Chief Deborah Young.

Officer Kennis Croom, who was working on a day off, was the first emergency responder to arrive at the scene and soon after “advised there were shots being fired,” the chief told reporters Friday.

A second officer called out that Croom was down, and the suspect was able to flee the scene before other officers arrived, she added.

Officers discovered the body of Brittany Jones when they did a check on the home, Young said. Jones appeared to have a fatal gunshot wound and was pronounced dead at the scene. Croom was pronounced dead at a hospital.

“Any time a life is lost it’s tragic. This whole incident is tragic and senseless. Officer Kennis Croom lost his life doing what he loved, serving this community,” Young said. “He was full of passion, joy and dedication. Although yesterday was his day off he chose to come in and serve, which he was known to do regularly.”

The suspected shooter, Dante Bender, 31, was taken into custody Friday in the town of Ackerman, Young said.

It is unknown if Bender has an attorney.

Young expressed her condolences to the families of both victims of the shooting, and called her colleague, Croom, a hero.

“He is the definition of a true hero and his legacy will go on,” she said.

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