By Jeff Amy
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The gun used to fatally shoot two Hattiesburg police officers has been found.
Mississippi Bureau of Investigation spokesman Warren Strain said city workers cutting the grass along a street found the .40-caliber pistol that police believe Marvin Banks used to shoot the officers. Strain said the ballistic tests at the state Crime Lab branch in Biloxi confirm that the gun fired the bullets used in the shooting.
Two more people were arrested Friday on charges related to the killing of two Hattiesburg police officers, bringing the total number of people implicated to seven.
The MBI charged 21-year-old Douglas D. McPhail and 19-year-old Anquanette L. Alexander with obstruction of justice for actions investigators say they took after the shootings to help people involved. Strain said neither was present Saturday when officers Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate were shot.
Both are held in Forrest County Jail awaiting court appearances. It’s unknown whether either has an attorney.
Several hundred law enforcement officers and others attended a funeral Thursday for Deen in Hattiesburg, with crowds lining the route to a cemetery in nearby Sumrall. Services for Tate are scheduled Saturday at West Point Baptist Church in Hattiesburg. He will be buried in Starkville.
Police say 29-year-old Banks shot the two officers after Deen pulled over a speeding car driven by Banks’ girlfriend, 22-year-old Joanie Calloway. Wednesday, Banks had led officers to where he said he had thrown the gun near the Leaf River, leading divers to search the river.
Investigators say that Deen decided to search the car, in which Banks and 28-year-old Cornelius Clark were passengers, and called Tate for backup. Strain said that after Deen asked all three to get out, Banks shot Deen in the face and Tate in the lower back. Both officers were wearing bullet-resistant vests that couldn’t protect them against the gunshots.
Banks is being held without bond on two capital murder charges. Calloway is charged as an accessory after the fact, while Clark is charged with obstruction of justice.
Investigators initially charged 26-year-old Curtis Banks, Marvin’s brother, as an accessory after the fact for picking up his Marvin Banks and driving him to a motel. But charges continue to spread for others accused of helping cover up the crimes.
All four remained in jail Friday. Calloway and Clark have not posted $75,000 bonds.
Wednesday, MBI charged Abram W. “Pete” Franklin with obstruction of justice. Franklin’s bond was also set at $75,000 Friday by Forrest County Justice Court Judge Gay Polk-Payton. Like McPhail and Alexander, investigators say he hampered the investigation.
“It’s an ongoing investigation, and depending on information that is developed, there could be additional arrests,” Strain said.
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