Sept. 30 (UPI) — A suspect is in custody after two police officers were killed Saturday in a shootout in Mississippi.
The victims have been identified as James White, 35, and Zack Moak, 31.
White arrived on the scene first, followed by Moak shortly after, and they exchanged gunfire with the suspect, the Brookhaven Daily Leader reported.
The officers were pronounced dead after being taken to King’s Daughter Medical Center.
“Two heroes lost their lives,” Police Chief Kenneth Collins said at a news conference at the courthouse.
“We answer those calls many times, and nothing ever happens. One hundred times — just that one time is all it takes,” Collins said after the media briefing. “These are two awesome people who lost their lives in the line of duty, and they’re both heroes. They’re in the presence of Jesus right now.”
Marquis Flowers, 25, who has been identified as the suspect, was injured and has been transported to a Jackson hospital.
Two other suspects were arrested earlier in the morning as around 30 police cars arrived on scene, but after more people were questioned additional charges were not filed.
Mississippi Department of Public Safety spokesman Warren Strain said at a media briefing that Flowers is the only suspect involved.
Strain said state officials are investigating the crime. The FBI has also offered to assist the investigation.
“The evidence gathered will be compiled into a case file and turned over to (Lincoln County District Attorney) Dee Bates,” Strain said. “We speculate there will be body camera footage, and there were dash cams, but we’ll wait and see.”
Gov. Phil Bryant called for prayer for the family of the victims in a Twitter post.
“Let us all pray just now for the family and loved ones of these fallen heroes,” Bryant tweeted. “May the Good Lord hold them in his everlasting arms.”