The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation has issued a statewide emergency bulletin for Newton native Dante Marquez Bender, 31, after he is wanted for allegedly killing a Meridian police officer and another woman earlier today.
MBI issued the following bulletin:
The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is investigating an officer involved shooting involving Meridian Police Department. A deceased Meridian Police Officer and an unidentified deceased female were both found at the scene. This incident occurred on 51st Avenue, Thursday, June 9, 2022, in Meridian city limits.
The suspect, 31-year-old Dante Marquez Bender, is believed to be driving a 2004 Black Nissan Armada with a tag reading “IMANI.” 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 or 1-855-485-TIPS (8477) or send an email to MBITIPS@dps.ms.gov. All tips are anonymous.
MBI is currently assessing this critical incident and gathering evidence. Upon completing their
investigation, agents will share their findings with the local District Attorney’s Office.
Bender is apparently a 2008 graduate of Newton High School. He was terminated as a Newton Police Officer effective Jan. 18, 2022, according to a Newton County Appeal report from earlier this year.
According to The Meridian Star's interview with Lauderdale County Coroner Clayton Cobler, the officer was responding to a domestic violence call at 5:30 p.m. on 51st Avenue in Meridian.
The identity of the officer and the woman have not been released. Cobler said the officer's body was sent to the State Crime Lab for an autopsy.