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May 10, 2015 6:30 PM

The Latest: Mississippi officers had a 'humble spirit'

The Associated Press

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) 6:15 p.m.

A steady stream of residents came by the area where the shooting happened, leaving flowers or balloons to honor the fallen officers on Sunday.

Donna Nelson was one of them. She said she and her husband had just picked up their dinner and were returning home when they noticed an unusually large number of police officers out on the streets. When they heard what had happened they said their first instinct was to go out and look for the suspects.

Nelson said, "That is the most disrespectful thing right there, to take the life of a law enforcement officer. They put their lives on the line for us every day. To be taken out senselessly like this, that's horrible."

Alberta Harris heads the Briarfield Neighborhood Association next to where the shooting occurred. She said she knew both Officers Benjamin Deen, 34, and Liquori Tate, 25, personally.

She said, "Both of them had a humble spirit. They cared about the people that they were serving and protecting."

She said at a time when there is a huge focus on the use of force by police officers, incidents like this show the strain police officers are under.

"This shows what our police officers have to endure, just on a routine traffic stop."

5:55 p.m.

Warren Strain, a spokesman for the Dept. of Public Safety, has confirmed a fourth person was arrested Sunday afternoon on charges related to the shooting of two Hattiesburg police officers.

Strain said Cornelius Clark, 28, of Hattiesburg was charged with obstruction of justice. Authorities did not release any details on the charge.

Strain said that all four suspects are expected to make their initial court appearances Monday at the Forest County Justice Court in Hattiesburg.

Police officers Benjamin Deen, 34, and Liquori Tate, 25, were shot and killed during a traffic stop late Saturday.

4 p.m.

At the shooting scene, blood stained the street beside New Hope Baptist Church. Inside, members prayed both for the slain officers and their relatives during worship Sunday morning on Mother's Day.

Dorothy Thompson, wife of the pastor, said, "It's sad. It's just a tragedy, going from one mother to another." She added, "Every day is a bad day (for violence), but especially on a day like today."

The U.S. flag flew at half-staff outside the Hattiesburg Police Department, and red roses placed on a concrete sign wilted under the hot afternoon sun.

Police officers Benjamin Deen, 34, and Liquori Tate, 25, were shot and killed during a traffic stop late Saturday.

12:45 p.m.

For many in the small Mississippi community of Hattiesburg, the first death of an officer in the line of duty in three decades was a shock. Benjamin Deen, 34, and Liquori Tate, 25, were shot and killed during a traffic stop late Saturday.

On Sunday morning a local judge, Tony Mozingo, stopped near the scene of the shooting with his wife and two daughters to leave some red roses in commemoration of the officers killed.

Three suspects face court appearances Monday. Two suspects face charges of capital murder.

The last officer to fall was Sgt. Jackie Dole Sherrill, who was killed on New Year's Eve in 1984 while trying to serve a warrant on a suspect.


8:08 a.m.

A law enforcement official says three people have been arrested and two of them have been charged with capital murder in the fatal shootings of two Mississippi police officers during a weekend traffic stop in Hattiesburg.

Warren Strain, a spokesman for the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, tells The Associated Press that 29-year-old Marvin Banks and 22-year-old Joanie Calloway have each been charged with two counts of capital murder, and Banks' 26-year-old brother, Curtis Banks, has been charged with two counts of accessory after the fact of capital murder.

Strain also says Marvin Banks also faced other charges. He says officers arrested the three Hattiesburg residents at different locations overnight without resistance following Saturday night's fatal shooting.

It wasn't immediately known if those arrested had lawyers.


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