Meridian, Eutaw police react to Kennis Croom’s death

By WVUA 23 News Reporter Aajene Robinson and WVUA 23 Digital Reporter Kyle Hamrick

On Friday, officers who worked with Kennis Croom in Meridian and Eutaw paid tribute to the Tuscaloosa native who died while investigating a domestic violence case Thursday night.

Meridian Police Chief Deborah Young said what her department experienced Thursday was something they hoped they would never have to go through.

“To his family we are praying for you during this time, I know there are no words to ease your pain,” Young said.

“He will truly be missed by Meridian Police Department; he is the definition of a true hero, and his legacy will go on.”

She called the shooting that ended the 30 year-old’s life senseless and tragic.

Eutaw Police Chief Tommy Johnson worked with Croom for six months and describes their time together as great.

He said Croom was an amazing officer who never gave him any problems and was a great leader.

“Every time you saw him, he had a million dollar smile on,” Johnson said. “I mean he was just a great officer he paid the ultimate sacrifice doing what he does best protecting and serving people.”

Chief Johnson said when he got the call he was devastated. He said his police department is there for Croom’s family in this time of grieving.

“I just want to send my prayers and thoughts out to the family,” Johnson said.

“His wife and kids he are really going to be missed, great guy, super guy and anything Eutaw police department can do for his family, just let us know, we are just a phone call away.”

Croom interned with Tuscaloosa Police Department and served on multiple police departments in Alabama and Mississippi before he moved to Meridian.

According to an article by Darkhorse Press, a Mississippi news site covering law enforcement, Croom responded to a situation where a male suspect had allegedly killed a woman and was readying to kill four children. The suspect is said to have shot Croom before he fled the scene.

Dante Bender, 31, was arrested in Ackerman, Mississippi Friday afternoon for the alleged murder.

Tuscaloosa Police accompanied his body in a procession that traveled from the Greene County line up McFarland Boulevard to a Northport funeral home Friday evening.

In lieu of flowers, Croom’s family asks that donations be made to the Croom Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded to “make a difference in high crime, disadvantaged areas of West Alabama.”

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