One was a decorated “Officer of the Year.” The other was a proud recent graduate of the police academy.
A routine traffic stop led to their shooting deaths Saturday night — the first Hattiesburg police officers to die in the line of duty in more than 30 years — and four suspects were in custody, including two who were charged with capital murder.
The deaths of Officers Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate stunned this small city in southern Mississippi.
“This should remind us to thank all law enforcement for their unwavering service to protect and serve,” Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant said in a statement.
Marvin Banks, 29, and Joanie Calloway, 22, were each charged with two counts of capital murder, said Warren Strain, a spokesman for the Mississippi Department of Public Safety. Banks also was charged with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and with grand theft for fleeing in the police cruiser after the shooting, Strain said.
Banks’ 26-year-old brother, Curtis Banks, was charged with two counts of accessory after the fact of capital murder. Cornelius Clark, 28, of Hattiesburg was charged with obstruction of justice.
All four were expected to make initial court appearances Monday and were being held at undisclosed jails.