Two police officers shot and killed in Brookhaven
BROOKHAVEN, MS (WLBT) - The minds of Mississippians are with the people of Brookhaven.
Early Saturday morning, gunshots took the lives of 31-year-old Corporal Zach Moak and 35-year-old Patrolman James White.
“This is the worst day we can have in law enforcement,” said Public Safety Commissioner Marshall Fisher.
Investigators say Patrolman White and Corporal Moak responded to a shots fired call on North 6th Street, just before 5:00 a.m.
“When they got there there was a exchanged of gunfire,” said Mississippi Bureau of Investigation spokesman Warren Strain.
“We answer those calls many times and nothing ever happens," said Chief Kenneth Collins. "But this morning something happened, two of our heroes died.”
Chief Collins fought back tears as he spoke about the two fallen officers. He says they both originally joined the force in 2015.
Moak had just been promoted and White recently came back to work for the department.
“It’s just heartbreaking for us to do our day to day job and face all the things that are against us," added Collins. "But men and women of law enforcement, we are not going to give up, we are not going to stop. We give our lives for the service of our community.”
The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is the lead agency in this case. They have identified the suspected shooter as 25-year-old Marquis Flowers from Brookhaven.
“The suspect was wounded," said Strain. "He has been transported to Jackson hospital where he is in custody and he is being treated.”
Police say both men were wearing bullet proof vests and possibly body cameras during the early Saturday morning shootout.
“Any evidence collected will be turned over to the crime lab and there will be autopsies performed, but the investigation is ongoing,” said MBI officials.
As investigators search for a motive in the case, the police chief says he and his team will do their best to cope with the surprising and heartbreaking loss of two extraordinary officers.
“These two awesome people lost their lives in line of duty," said Chief Collins. "They are heroes, and my heart goes out to their families and folks. You never know when it is your last day.”
Last year, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputy William Durr, who worked for Brookhaven Police Department several years, was also shot and killed while responding to a call.
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