Curtis Banks (left), and Marvin Banks (right).
Two police officers were shot and killed last evening in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Forest County Coroner, Butch Benedict, confirmed the deaths of Benjamin Deen (34) and Liquori Tate (25). Police have arrested Curtis Banks (26), Marvin Banks (29) and Joanie Calloway (22) in connection with the shootings. Marvin and Joanie have both been charged with capital murder. Curtis is charged with two counts of accessory after the fact of capital murder according to Larmar County officials. All three are expected to appear in court as early as Monday. The three have been temporarily placed in separate jails pending early proceedings. It is unknown whether they have provided statements to investigators. It is reported that the men have criminal records and that Calloway was in the vehicle driven during the shooting. The slain officers were discovered by Hattiesburg residents, Tamika Mills and Pearnell Roberts according to the NY Daily News. While at the scene, Mills has been quoted as saying that one of the officers, while laying on the ground, said, “Am I dying? I know I am dying. Just hand me my walkie-talkie”. The two officers are the first Hattiesburg officers to die in the line of duty in 30 years.
COMMENT: Mississippi has the death penalty and uses lethal injection to execute offenders. The last person executed there was Gary Carl Simmons, Jr. in 2012. Simmons was convicted for the brutal murder and dismemberment of Jeffrey Wolfe that occurred on August 13, 1996. In that case, Wolfe, and his companion, Charlene Leaser, drove from Houston to Mississippi in order to collect a drug-related debt from Simmons. Once at the Simmons residence, Wolfe was shot and his body was scattered throughout the bayou by his house. When Investigators searched the area, they found 85 pounds of human remains on the first day and 41 pounds on the second day. The body parts had been carved with precision and left for alligators, crabs and the current that carried the water into the gulf. Shortly after killing Wolfe, Simmons raped Leaser and placed her in a large metal box from which she eventually escaped, and with the help of a neighbor, called the police.
Officer Liquori Tate (25).
Officer Benjamin Deen (34)