Suspects In Mississippi Police Shooting Have Been Charged & The Community Is Grieving Over The Two Cops' Deaths
Four suspects were charged Sunday in the fatal shooting of two police officers in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The suspects in the Mississippi police shooting were arrested for various charges, including counts of capital murder, in the deaths of Officers Benjamin Deen, 34, and Liquori Tate, 25. The officers were gunned down during a traffic stop Saturday evening, and the community of the city, located around 90 miles southeast of Jackson, Mississippi, is grieving over their deaths.
Joanie Calloway, 22, was charged with two counts of capital murder. Marvin Banks, 29, who is accused of stealing a police cruiser to flee the scene, was charged with two counts of capital murder as well as counts of grand theft auto and felon in possession of a firearm. His brother Curtis Banks, 26, faces two counts of accessory after the fact of capital murder. Cornelius Clark, 28, was later charged with obstruction of justice. According to local NBC affiliate WDAM, Clark was allegedly a passenger in the car when the shooting took place. All four suspects are set to appear in court Monday afternoon.
The fatal encounter occurred Saturday a little before 8 p.m. local time. Deen was first on the scene after pulling over a Hyundai for a speeding violation, according to the Mississippi Department of Public Safety. The shooting took place after Tate arrived to provide backup. Both officers were transported to Forrest General Hospital, where they were pronounced dead.
During a Sunday news conference, Mayor Johnny DuPree said the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation had taken over the investigation. He said the suspects were currently being interrogated, and an autopsy was also in the process of being conducted.
We want to make sure that we don't do anything to jeopardize the prosecution of these individuals.
DuPree said the speed at which the suspects were charged was to the credit of the community, which had come together in light of the tragic shooting. He said he already spoke to the families of the two officers, who were the first on-duty deaths in 30 years. DuPree told reporters he promised to find and catch the people suspected of gunning down the officers.
Two family members of our community have fallen.
Tate's father Ronald took to Facebook to express the "dizzy haze" he had been since learning of his son's death.
My heart has been ripped out of my chest, and torn into a million pieces. Gotta get down to MS where my daughter is. She's absolutely devastated. He was clearly her protector, and friend.