Two policemen who were conducting a traffic stop on Saturday, the 9th of May 2015 were fatally shot in Hattiesburg, southern Mississippi, at about 8.00 p.m.. One of the people involved in the murder was reported to have fled the crime scene in the officers’ police vehicle. The car was found later that day. It was abandoned and the suspect must have run away.
The details related to the identities and ages of the two officers killed in the shooting on Saturday evening were not released to the press initially. In an update, on Sunday morning, a Hattiesburg Police Department spokesman revealed that they were 25-year-old Liquori Tate and 34-year-old Benjamin Deen.
According to Warren Strain, a spokesman for the Mississippi Department of Public Safety one of them was conducting a traffic stop and had pulled over a 2000 Gold Cadillac Escalade in an industrial corridor. As the other one came for backup, they were both shot to death and left lying on the ground. Two civilians found them and called for help. They were taken to Forrest General Hospital but nothing could be done for them, as the injuries were too severe. One of the officers died after he was transported to the medical unit. A confirmation of their death was released by Forrest County Coroner Butch Benedict.
Perimeters were set at the crime scene, which has blocked Gordon Street at the Bouie Street intersection. The area has been expanded to allow investigators to search for evidence. Many agencies have been collaborating to find the suspects about 80 miles southeast of Jackson. The stolen police vehicle was found abandoned behind a train depot, not far from the rail road tracks.
Hattiesburg Mayor Johny Dupree released a statement during a news conference outside Forrest General Hospital, where the two officers had been taken and declared dead. He advised residents to stay indoors and made promises that the people guilty of this will be found and prosecuted, ensuring everyone that the authorities were doing everything in their power to bring safety back to the city. “The men and women who go out every day to protect us, the men and woman who go out every day to make sure that we’re safe, they were turned on (Saturday) night,” he said, referring to the two police officers. He also added that “the person or persons who did this are not safe in the city of Hattiesburg.”
The suspects’ car was found at the scene and they were identified as 26-year-old Curtis Banks and his brother, 29-year-old Marvin Banks. According to recent reports, they were both arrested on Sunday morning. Marvin Banks was the first one to be brought to the Mississippi Highway Patrol Troop J headquarters and his brother was arrested two hours later, at about 3.00 a.m.
This was the first reported murder of a police officer in the past three decades. The last one was recorded in 1984.
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