Fourth Suspect Arrested in Slaying of Two Mississippi Officers
HATTIESBURG, Miss., May 11 (UPI) — A fourth suspect has been arrested in the fatal shooting of two Hattiesburg, Miss., police officers during a routine traffic stop.
Cornelius Clark, 28, was arrested and charged with obstruction of justice. He was apparently a passenger in the vehicle when the shooting occurred.
“We were able to catch these individuals and keep our promise to the officers’ families with the public’s help,” Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree said at a news conference Sunday. “No parent wants to bury their child before them… and here we are on Mother’s Day. It’s a tragedy for all America. It’s a tragedy for our community.”
Officers Liquori Tate, 24, and Benjamin J. Deen, 34, died shortly after arriving at Forrest General Hospital after being shot Saturday night.
It is the first time in 30 years that a police officer died in the line of duty in the city of Hattiesburg. A memorial service for the officers will be held Monday afternoon at the city’s Lake Terrance Convention Center.
Tate became a police officer in 2014 and Deen was named Officer of the Year in 2012.
Authorities arrested brothers Curtis Banks, 26, Marvin Banks, 29, and Joanie Calloway, 22, early Sunday.
“Agents of the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation have charged three people in connection with murders of two Hattiesburg police officers. Marvin Banks, 29, has been charged with two counts of capital murder, one count of grand theft auto and one count of a felon in possession of a firearm,” Mississippi’s Department of Public Safety said in a statement. “Joanie Calloway, 22, has been charged with two counts of capital murder and Curtis Banks, 26, has been charged with two counts of accessory after the fact of capital murder.”
Police have not released information about a motive for the shootings. Both men have felony convictions and criminal records for weapons and gun charges.
Hattiesburg residents Tamika Mills and Pearnell Roberts found the two officers after the shooting and called emergency services.
“Never in my life have I experienced or seen anything like this except on TV, and to be in the midst of it, it’s shocking and heartbreaking,” Mills said.
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, a former law enforcement officer, commented on the officer deaths Sunday morning.
“… I join all Mississippians this morning in mourning the death of our two police officers in Hattiesburg,” he said. “This should remind us to thank all law enforcement for their unwavering service to protect and serve.”