Two Mississippi police officers were fatally shot on Saturday night. Liquori Tate, 25, and Benjamin J. Deen, 34, were shot when one of the officers pulled over a car for a speeding violation. This is according to Mississippi Department of Public Safety spokesperson, Warren Strain.
Officer Dean had pulled over a 2000 Cadillac Escalade, gold in color, in an industrial park in the city of Harrisburg at 8:30 local time. Officer Tate soon arrived to assist Dean. Shots were fire and both officers received wounds, which would prove to be fatal.
After the shooting, the suspects fled and Banks allegedly fled in one of the officer’s cruisers. According to the Mayor of Hattiesburg, Johnny DuPree, Banks did not get very far and got rid of the vehicle four to five blocks later.
A woman and two men have been charged in the shooting. The three suspects, two of whom are brothers, were arrested after a manhunt that ended in the early hours of Sunday morning. Joanie Calloway, 22, was charged with two counts of capital murder; Marvin Banks, 29, was charged with two counts of capital murder, a felon in possession of a firearm and grand theft auto; and Curtis Banks, 26, was charged with accessory after the fact of capital murder.
The three suspects were arrested without resisting. They are being held at an undisclosed jail, and can not be reached for comment. It is unclear if they have obtained legal council.
Curtis Banks, at three in the morning was brought to Mississippi Highway Patrol Troop J headquarters. His brother Marvin was arrested a few hours later, according to the Hattiesburg American. According to the Jackson Clarion Ledger, Curtis Bank denied shooting the police officers when asked by reporters.
Details of the shooting of the two Mississippi police officer remain uncertain as of this morning. The investigation is still continuing in hopes of bringing clarity to what happened. The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation has taken over control of the investigation.
The Mississippi officers were transported to Forrest General Hospital. Once there, they were pronounced dead, after medics had worked very hard to save them, but according to DuPree they had lost too much blood.
The officers were the fist to die in the line duty in over 30 years in Hattiesburg. Officer Tate had only been on the force for a less than a year, but was known for his smile. Officer Dean was a K9 handler and a married father of two children. He had been named Officer of the Year in the past, according to local reports. DuPree called their deaths a tragedy.
Sargent Jackie Dole Sherrill was the last Hattiesburg police officer to be killed in the line of duty. She was shot on New Years Eve in 1984. Sherrill, 33 at the time, was shot while serving a warrant. Erica Owens, Sherrill daughter has been hit very hard by the deaths of the two officer this weekend. She had hope she did not know them, but unfortunately, she was good friends with Dean. He was one year ahead of her in high school, and graduated in 1998 from Sumrall High School. Owen talked about how Dean had married his high school sweetheart, and had two children with her, she mentioned about how nice the family was. Red roses were left at the scene of the shooting by a local judge named Tony Mozingo, Mozingo is heartbroken over the shooting, he talked about how Dean was professional, and how so many worked with both these officer everyday, and the pain that would be felt.
Mayor DuPree said the officers lives would be celebrated and community events to honor both men are already being organized. The shooting of police officers in Mississippi has rocked the community, but DuPree made sure to praise residents and law enforcement for coming together during such a tragedy. They were able to keep their promise to the slain officers and their families by catching the individuals suspected in the shooting with the public’s help.
By Jessica Hamel
Photo by Justin McGregor-Creativecommons Flickr License