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Two Mississippi police officers killed in early morning shooting

Law enforcement agents secure the scene of a shooting in Brookhaven, Miss., where two police officer
Law enforcement agents secure the scene of a shooting in Brookhaven, Miss., where two police officers were killed Saturday morning. A suspect was wounded and taken into custody.
(Donna Campbell / Associated Press)

Two police officers were shot and killed following an early Saturday morning confrontation in Mississippi, authorities said.

The officers were called to a house in the city of Brookhaven about 5 a.m. for a report of shots fired, Warren Strain of the Mississippi Department of Public Safety said at a news conference.

Amid an exchange of gunfire, both officers were “mortally wounded” and later pronounced dead at a local hospital, Strain said. He identified the weapon used as a handgun but would not elaborate.

Authorities identified the deceased officers as Patrolman James White, 35, and Cpl. Zach Moak, 31. Both were wearing bulletproof vests at the time and were equipped with body and dashboard cameras. White arrived on the scene first, and Moak arrived next.

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A suspect was wounded in the exchange and taken for treatment to a hospital in Jackson. Police identified him as Marquis Flowers, 25, of Brookhaven. Strain said charges had not been filed yet but that Flowers is “in custody.”

Brookhaven Police Chief Kenneth Collins said the city is a “safe community ... but like any place, we have crime.” He called White and Moak, both residents of Lincoln County, “heroes.”

“These are two awesome people who lost their lives this morning in the line of duty. Two heroes lost their lives this morning,” Collins said.

This was the second time in as many years that a law enforcement official has been killed in the line of duty in the Brookhaven area.

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Last year Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputy William Durr, who spent four years with Brookhaven police, was responding to a call when he was shot to death. Authorities say the gunman shot and killed seven other people in a string of slayings in and around the Brookhaven area.

Willie Cory Godbolt was arrested May 28, 2017, and is awaiting trial. He’s pleading not guilty and faces the death penalty if convicted.


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