Mississippi law enforcement officials now suspect a Nebraska man shot and killed on a lonely stretch of highway in that state might have fallen victim to a thief posing as a police officer.
74-year-old Thomas Schlender of Raymond was found shot to death in his pick-up in the early morning hours of May 8th on a highway in northern Mississippi. He was headed to Pensacola, Florida to pick up one of his grandchildren from college.
Mississippi authorities say that Schlender and another motorist, shot to death three nights later about 70 miles from where Schlender was found, might have been victims of a police impersonator.
Officers found several bullet holes in the driver’s door on Schlender’s pick-up. Investigators recovered 9mm shell casings at the scene. Schlender’s wallet was missing.
The Tate County, Mississippi Sheriff’s Department has posted notices on its Facebook page, informing motorists unsure of the legitimacy of a traffic stop to call 9-1-1 for a confirmation. The department has informed its deputies not to overreact if a driver doesn’t immediately pull over.