Police Officer Liquori Tate
Hattiesburg Police Department, Mississippi
End of Watch: Saturday, May 9, 2015
Tour of Duty: 11 months
Badge Number: Not available
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: May 9, 2015
Weapon Used: Gun; Unknown type
Suspect Info: Apprehended
Agency Contact Information
Chief of Police Frazier Bolton
Hattiesburg Police Department
701 James Street
Hattiesburg, MS 39401
Phone: (601) 544-7900
Police Officer Liqori Tate and Police Officer Benjamin Deen were shot and killed while making a traffic stop of a vehicle occupied by two brothers near the intersection of 4th Street and Gordon Street in downtown Hattiesburg.
Both subjects stole one of the patrol cars before fleeing the area after shooting Officer Tate and Officer Deen. They were both apprehended later in the night.
Officer Tate had served with the Hattiesburg Police Department for 11 months.
Authorities early Sunday morning arrested two brothers in connection with the fatal shootings of two Hattiesburg police officers, who were killed in the line of duty during a routine traffic stop Saturday night.
Forrest County Coroner Butch Benedict confirmed the deaths of officers Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate.
The officers were taken to Forrest General Hospital, where they died shortly after arriving.
Tate, 25, was a recent graduate from the police academy. He posted on his Facebook page that he graduated June 11.
Tate graduated South Pike High School and attended Southwest Mississippi Community College before joining the Hattiesburg Police Department.
Deen, 34, was a K-9 officer. He was named HPD Officer of the Year in 2012.
Authorities arrested Curtis Banks, 26, and Marvin Banks, 29, early Sunday morning. The two were taken to Troop J of the Mississippi Highway Patrol, where they were to be questioned by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation.
Lamar County authorities arrested Marvin Banks at a motel shortly before 1 a.m. Sunday. His vehicle, a Hyundai Azera Limited with retired Army military license plate, was taken to Troop J.
Curtis Banks was arrested around 3 a.m. at an apartment complex.
"No sir, I didn’t do it," Curtis Banks said when asked whether he had shot two Hattiesburg patrolmen. The question came from reporters who were present at Troop J as deputies led Curtis Banks into Troop J.
Both men have multiple arrests for weapons and gun charges, and both have felony convictions.
A third suspect, an unidentified woman, was also taken into custody. Authorities said she was in the car with the Banks brothers at the time of the shooting.
Warren Strain, a spokesman for the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, said one officer stopped a 2000 Gold Cadillac Escalade in an industrial corridor about 8:30 p.m. Saturday, a second officer arrived to assist him and shots were fired.
Hattiesburg residents Tamika Mills and Pearnell Roberts discovered the two officers who had been shot. The pair got out to check on the officers and called 9-1-1.
"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," Mills said. "As we were coming down Fourth Street, we noticed a bunch of lights. As we came on through, (Roberts) told me to turn around because she saw somebody laying on the ground.
"So I backed up. That’s when we noticed the officer was down. We just saw that one, but in the course of me being on the phone with 9-1-1, I turned and I saw another officer across the street rolling on the ground. (Roberts) ran across the street to check on him. 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.’"
Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree spoke from the hospital after the shooting, asking for prayers and telling the public that the suspects would be found.
"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," DuPree said during a brief news conference outside the hospital. "But the person or persons who did this are not safe in the City of Hattiesburg."
Multiple law enforcement agencies swarmed to the scene between Gordon Street and East Fourth Street, crisscrossing throughout the fringes of downtown.
It is the first slaying of a Hattiesburg officer since Jackie Dole Sherrill was killed on New Year’s Eve in 1984.
"Thirty years ago was the last time that this has happened in Hattiesburg, and we’ve had a lot to happen over the past 15 years with tornadoes and storms," DuPree said. "But you never want this to happen."