Saturday, March 25, 2023

Blue Alert Issued For Man Suspected of Killing Meridian Officer, Woman

UPDATE: Dante Bender is in custody

The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is investigating an officer-involved shooting involving the Meridian Police Department.

According to a report, Meridian Police Officer Kennis Croom and an unidentified woman were shot and killed on Thursday in Meridian. Croom was responding to a domestic violence situation.

Dante Marquez Bender

At about 8 p.m. Thursday, people across Mississippi received Blue Alert warnings on their cell phones after the MBI received reports that Dante Marquez Bender, 31, could be in the Newton County area.

The Mississippi Blue Alert System is an alert regarding any incident involving the injury or death of a law enforcement officer where the suspect is still at large. 

Bender is believed to be driving a 2004 black Nissan Armada with a tag reading “IMANI.” Investigators say Bender could be armed and dangerous.

The U.S. Marshals Service is offering $10,000 for information leading to Bender’s arrest, according to Meridian news sources.

Anyone coming into contact with Bender should call 911.

Information on Bender or his whereabouts can be shared with MBI by calling 911 or 1-855-485-TIPS (8477) or sending an email to

All tips are anonymous.

Staff report