Story highlights

Investigators have suggested that the shooter posed as a police officer

The arrested suspect had a gun in his possession, authorities say

That gun matches the one used in two highway shootings, they say

CNN  — 

Authorities have arrested a suspect in the case of an alleged police impersonator who is believed to have killed two motorists in Mississippi, the Tunica County Sherriff’s Office said.

James D. Willie, 28, of Sardis, Mississippi, was arrested and the 9mm handgun authorities say was used in two recent highway shootings was in his possession, the sheriff’s office said.

“Hundreds of man hours have been devoted to tracking down and arresting this individual,” said Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant said. “Public safety is of paramount concern to us. Just as a week ago, with the resolution of the kidnap/murder case in north Mississippi, again we see the effective results of a unified effort of several law enforcement agencies working together.”

Investigators with the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation had raised the possibility that someone posing as a police officer is to blame for the shooting deaths of 74-year-old Tom Schlender and 48-year-old Lori Anne Carswell, which happened 55 miles apart in northwest Mississippi.