The suspects face charges including capital murder

By Adam Carlson
Updated May 10, 2015 03:35 PM
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Oxford Police Department

Two men and one woman face charges including capital murder after police say they were responsible for the shooting deaths Saturday of two Mississippi officers, according to several reports.

Hattiesburg, Mississippi, officers Benjamin Deen, 34, and Liquori Tate, 25, were killed during a traffic stop at about 8:30 p.m. Saturday, The Clarion-Ledger reports.

Curtis Banks, 26, his brother Marvin Banks, 29, and Joanie Calloway, 22, were all arrested early Sunday morning, the Associated Press reports. Their identities were also confirmed in Tweets by the Oxford Police Department.

Marvin and Calloway have each been charged with two counts of capital murder, and Curtis Banks is charged with two counts of accessory after the fact to capital murder, according to the AP.

The suspects were held at undisclosed Mississippi jails could not be reached for comment, according to the AP.

Police have not revealed a possible motive, as suspect interviews are ongoing, according to the Clarion-Ledger. But Deen initiated the traffic stop on suspicion of speeding and Tate arrived as back-up, according to the AP.

A Mississippi Department of Public Safety spokesperson told the AP it was too early to say how many shots were fired.

Both Banks are convicted felons, according to the Clarion-Ledger, with multiple arrests for weapons and gun charges.

“No sir, I didn’t do it,” Curtis told reporters shortly after his arrest, according to the paper.

The shootings marked the first deaths of officers in the line of duty in Hattiesburg in three decades, according to the AP. The Oxford Police Department has been broadcasting messages for the fallen officers on its Twitter account.

“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,” a Hattiesburg resident who first discovered the wounded officers told the Clarion-Ledger.

She said of one of the officers, “He wasn’t all the way alert but he asked her, ‘Am I dying? I know I’m dying. Just hand me my walkie-talkie.’ ”

Both men were taken to the hospital but did not survive, Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree told CNN.

“The men and women who go out every day to protect us, the men and women who go out every day to make sure that we are safe, were turned on tonight,” DuPree said.

Deen was named HPD Officer of the Year in 2012, according to the Clarion-Ledger.

Tate reportedly graduated from the police academy in June.

“I would like to thank God, the Police Academy, the Police Department, my family, friends, and love ones,” he wrote on Facebook following his graduation, according to the paper.

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