Officer Croom killed, suspect apprehended

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By WVUA 23 Digital Reporter Kyle Hamrick

Tuscaloosa native Officer Kennis Croom of the Meridian Police Department was killed while investigating a domestic violence case on Thursday night, June 9.

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.

The Tuscaloosa Patch reported that Mississippi State Highway Patrol officers took Dante Bender, 31, into custody for the alleged murder of his wife and Croom Friday morning.

Croom had a long career in policing, working as an officer in Jackson and Brookhaven, Mississippi, as well as in Greene and Tuscaloosa counties.

He was 30 years old, the son of Kelvin Croom and Tracy Clyde, and brother of Kevin, Tamara and Teresa.

A procession will take Exit 73 and travel up McFarland Boulevard to Watermelon Road in Northport around 7 p.m. Friday, June 10.

In lieu of flowers, the Croom 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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