Four Charged in Killings |of Mississippi Policemen

     (CN) – Four suspects have been charged in connection with the weekend deaths of two Hattiesburg, Miss., police officers who were shot during a routine traffic stop.
     Officers Benjamin Deen, 34, and Liquori Tate, 24, were killed Saturday night. Department of Public Safety spokesman Warren Strain said one the officers stopped a 2000 Gold Escalade about 8:30 p.m., and the second officer arrived at the scene to provide backup.
     After the officers were shot, investigators say, the perpetrators stole one of the officer’s police cruiser and used it as their getaway car. Two local residents, Tamika Mills and Pearnell Roberts happened upon the scene moments later and called 911.
     Mills told USA Today that one of the officers was still conscious when she arrived on the scene and asked her, “Am I dying? I know I’m dying. Just hand me my walkie talkie.”
     On Sunday, the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation announced that Joanie Calloway and Marvin Banks have been charged with two counts of capital murder. Banks has also been charged with grand theft auto and with being a felon in possession of a firearm.
     His brother, Curtis Banks, has been charged with two counts of accessory after the fact of capital murder.
     A fourth suspect, Cornelius Clark, was charged with obstruction of justice.
     In a statement, Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny Dupress said “We’re a community, we’re a family, and we’re going to grieve together through this.”
     U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch also issued a statement Monday, saying that the “shocking assault on law enforcement officers in Hattiesburg … struck at the heart of that great city.”
     “Officer Benjamin Deen and Officer Liquori Tate were committed and courageous public safety officials, dedicated to their community and devoted to their mission,” Lynch continues. “They exemplified the very best that our country has to offer.”
     Officer Deen was the Hattiesburg Police Department’s Office of the Year in 2012; Officer Tate had only been with the department for 11 months, having graduated from the police academy in June 2014.
     A memorial service for the officers was scheduled to be held Monday afternoon at Hattiesburg’s Lake Terrance Convention Center.

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