Mississippi — Police are warning drivers along Mississippi’s northern highways to be extra cautious about pulling over for a vehicle after two people were found shot to death by a someone police think could be posing as a cop.
The Tate County Sheriff’s Office released the following warning via their Facebook Page:
“We urge everyone to be cautious while driving, especially at night. If someone attempts to pull you over with flashing lights and you feel unsure of stopping, DON’T PULL OVER. Use your cell phone and dial 911 and if it’s a real officer then the dispatcher will confirm it for you and if it’s not a real officer they will send help to you. Our deputies have been told not to overreact if someone does not immediately pull over. Your safety is our primary concern.”
This warning comes after two people, in separate incidents, were found shot to death along Mississippi highways within days of each other. In both cases, it looks as if the victims had pulled over for someone.
One victim was 74-year-old Tom Schlender who was driving to Nebraska from Florida to pick up his grandson from college. He was found dead in his car on Interstate 55 in Panola County on May 8 at about 1:30 a.m. with the engine still running. Authorities told Schlender’s family that he was shot through the door of his car and that his wallet was missing.
Three days later around 2:15 a.m., 48-year-old Lori Carswell was found dead near her car on Mississippi Highway 713 in nearby Tunica County. She had just left work from Fitzgerald’s Casino.
So far police say they have no witnesses who may have seen either of the victims interacting with someone on the side of the road around the time they were murdered, and our asking for the public’s help.
The only reported evidence they have are the shell casing found at both scenes. They are currently being analyzed and multiple agencies, including the FBI, are investigating the murders.
Police are also re-interviewing a woman who reported being pulled over by a fake cop in April on the same road Schlender was found murdered. She was pulled over by a car with flashing headlights and a flashing light on the dash — but no blue lights.
When the man approached her car, she did not feel comfortable and refused to roll the window down but a crack. The man told her she was speeding and asked for her license. She informed him her license was in her purse in the trunk, and that she was not getting out of the car. When she asked for his ID, he hit her car with his hand and told her to drive away.
“She told police the suspect was driving a gold sedan … was in his 40s, wearing an untucked plaid shirt and tan pants,” Tate County Sheriff Brad Lance said. “When she asked why he wasn’t in uniform, he said it was his day off.”
Investigators are asking motorists to call 911 or *47 if they’re being pulled over and it’s unclear whether a legitimate police officer is making the stop.Tags: Crime, highway, Mississippi, Police, Shooting, Tom Schlender