Two police officers have been gunned down by armed men while on patrol in the town of Hattiesburg in Mississippi.
The shooting occurred during a routine traffic stop at around 8.30pm in the centre of the town, authorities said. One officer stopped a 2000 Gold Cadillac Escalade, but after a second officer arrived to assist him shots were fired.
Forrest County coroner Butch Benedict confirmed that both officers, named as Benjamin Deen, 34, and Liquori Tate, 25, died after they were rushed to hospital with gunshot wounds. Mr Tate had graduated from the police academy only last year.
Brothers Curtis Banks, 26, and Marvin Banks, 29, have been named as suspects by Hattiesburg Police Department.
The suspects reportedly sped from the shooting in an officer’s patrol vehicle, which was later abandoned on train tracks near a train depot.
Marvin Banks was arrested shortly after 1am on Sunday, while Curtis Banks remains at large.
Johnny DuPree, the mayor of Hattiesburg had asked residents to remain in their homes while a search for the remaining suspect was underway.
“The men and woman who go out every day to make sure that we’re safe, they were turned on tonight,” Mr DuPree told local paper, the Clarion-Ledger.
“But the person or persons who did this are not safe in the city of Hattiesburg,” he added.
The officers were found after two residents discovered the bodies when they drove by the scene of the shooting.
It is the first fatal shooting of a police officer in the town of Hattiesburg since 1984.
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