Two police officers were killed in a shootout early Saturday in Brookhaven, Mississippi, a state official said.
The officers, identified as Cpl. Zack Mock, 31, and Patrolman James White, 35, were responding to a call about shots fired about 5 a.m., Mississippi Bureau of Investigation spokesman Warren Strain said.
“Two heroes lost their lives this morning,” Brookhaven Police Chief Kenneth Collins told reporters. “They are in the presence of Jesus right now. … I want the families to know that we’re going to keep on doing what we do in Jesus’ name.”
The suspect, Marquis Aaron Flowers, 25, of Brookhaven, was wounded in an exchange of gunfire with the officers and taken to a hospital in Jackson, Strain said. That’s about 55 miles north of Brookhaven, a small city off Interstate 55 in Lincoln County.
The officers were pronounced dead at King’s Daughters Medical Center in Brookhaven, he said.
“This is something that police officers deal with every day, and it’s a stark reminder of how dangerous the job is,” Strain told CNN affiliate WAPT. “Be grateful, be thankful for all the law enforcement officers you encounter. Thank them. Give them a pat on the back because they go into harm’s way, so you and I don’t have to.”
Gov. Phil Bryant said via Twitter: “Let us all pray just now for the family and loved ones of these fallen heroes. May the Good Lord hold them in his everlasting arms.”