May 14, 2015 / 3:32 AM / 3 years ago

Fifth suspect arrested in fatal shooting of Mississippi officers

(Reuters) - A fifth suspect has been arrested in connection with the killings of two Mississippi police officers over the weekend, officials said on Wednesday.

Policemen enter a building to attend a vigil service for two fellow officers killed during a traffic stop, in Hattiesburg, Mississippi May 11, 2015. REUTERS/Lee Celano

Abram Wade Franklin, 29, was charged with obstruction of justice over the shootings that occurred during a routine traffic stop on Saturday, the Mississippi Department of Public Safety said in a statement.

Officers Benjamin Deen, 34, and Liquori Tate, 25, a recent police academy graduate, were shot after Deen stopped a gold Cadillac Escalade in the city of Hattiesburg.

Autopsy results by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations released on Monday showed one of the officers was shot in the face and the other in the back.

At least one of the suspects fled in a police car that was later found abandoned. Officials have declined to discuss a possible motive.

Marvin Banks, 29, was charged with two counts of capital murder while his brother, Curtis Banks, 26, and Joanie Calloway, 22, were charged with accessory after the fact of capital murder. Cornelius Clark had also been charged with obstruction of justice.

The shooting, which was the first killing of a Hattiesburg police officer in more than 30 years, shook the southern Mississippi city of 48,000 people.

Deen and Tate were the ninth and 10th law enforcement officers in the United States shot and killed by assailants in 2015, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page, a non-profit organization that tracks police deaths in the line of duty.

Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Michael Perry

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