Mother says son accused in officer killings was drug addict

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Two Mississippi Police Officers Killed, Suspects in Custody

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) -- The mother of a man accused in the shooting deaths of two police officers says her son is addicted to drugs and has mental problems.

Mary Smith told The Associated Press on Monday that her son, 29-year-old Marvin Banks, looked high in photos after his arrest and said: "You could tell something was wrong with him."

Banks and his 6-year-old son live with Smith.

Banks and his girlfriend were charged with two counts of murder in the deaths of officers Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate, who were slain Saturday night after a traffic stop. Police have not said what led to the gunfire.

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Mississippi officers fatally shot; 2 suspects sought (used in article #21181606) Hattiesburg, Curtis Banks, Marvin Banks
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Mother says son accused in officer killings was drug addict
This combination of undated photos released the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation shows, Marvin Banks, left, and his brother Curtis Banks. The brothers are wanted in the fatal shooting of two Hattiesburg, Miss., police officers on Saturday, May 9, 2015. (Mississippi Bureau of Investigation via The Hattiesburg Police Department via AP)
Youlander Ross, right, mother of slain Hattiesburg Police Officer Liquori Tate, is embraced by an officer after a vigil service Monday, May 11, 2015, in Hattiesburg, Miss. Marvin Banks faces two counts of capital murder in the Saturday shootings of Officers Benjamin Deen and Tate following a traffic stop. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Hattiesburg Assistant Police Chief Frank Misenhelter reacts during a vigil service for Hattiesburg Police Officers Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate, Monday, May 11, 2015, in Hattiesburg, Miss. Marvin Banks faces two counts of capital murder in the Saturday shootings of Deen and Tate following a traffic stop. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
An attendee reacts during a prayer at a vigil service for Hattiesburg Police Officers Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate, Monday, May 11, 2015, in Hattiesburg, Miss. Marvin Banks faces two counts of capital murder in the Saturday shootings of Deen and Tate following a traffic stop. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
This undated photo released by the Hattiesburg Police Department, shows Officer Liquori Tate in Hattiesburg, Miss. Officer Tate and Officer Benjamin Deen were fatally shot during a traffic stop, Saturday evening, May 9, 2015, in the southern Mississippi city of Hattiesburg, prompting a statewide manhunt early Sunday for two suspects, authorities said. (Hattiesburg Police Department via AP)
This undated photo released by the Hattiesburg Police Department, shows Officer Benjamin Deen in Hattiesburg, Miss. Officer Deen and Officer Liquori Tate were fatally shot during a traffic stop, Saturday evening, May 9, 2015, in the southern Mississippi city of Hattiesburg, authorities said. A law enforcement official says three people have been arrested and two of them have been charged with capital murder in the fatal shootings of the two Mississippi police officers. (Hattiesburg Police Department via AP)
Hattiesburg, Miss., Police Sgt. Greg Holliman waits for the start of a vigil service for Officers Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate Monday, May 11, 2015, in Hattiesburg. Marvin Banks faces two counts of capital murder in the Saturday shootings of Deen and Tate following a traffic stop. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Attendees applaud during a vigil service for Hattiesburg Police Officers Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate, Monday, May 11, 2015, in Hattiesburg, Miss. Marvin Banks faces two counts of capital murder in the Saturday shootings of Deen and Tate following a traffic stop. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
HATTIESBURG, MS - MAY 11: Police officers and other mourners depart a memorial service honoring slain Hattiesburg, Mississippi police officers Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate on May 11, 2015 in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The officers were killed in what started as a routine traffic stop and the four suspects are making their first court appearance today. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
HATTIESBURG, MS - MAY 11: An American flag hangs following a memorial service honoring slain Hattiesburg, Mississippi police officers Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate on May 11, 2015 in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The officers were killed in what started as a routine traffic stop and the four suspects are making their first court appearance today. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Katie Walmon, the mother of Marvin Bank's six-year-old son, speaks to reporters outside the Forrest County Courthouse in Hattiesburg, Miss., Monday, May 11, 2015, about the child's father who, along with his brother Calvin Banks, and two other people are charged in the shooting deaths of two Hattiesburg police officers on Saturday night. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Mary Smith, the mother of brothers Marvin and Calvin Banks, who are both charged in the shooting deaths of two Hattiesburg police officers on Saturday night, speaks to reporters outside the Forrest County Courthouse in Hattiesburg, Miss., Monday, May 11, 2015. Older brother Marvin Banks, 29, is charged with two counts of capital murder and his younger brother Curtis Banks, 26, is charged with two counts of being an accessory to murder after the fact. Also involved are Joanie Calloway, 22, who is charged with two counts of capital murder and Cornelius Clark, 28, was arrested on a charge of obstruction of justice. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
HATTIESBURG, MS - MAY 11: Law enforcement and other mourners gather during a memorial service honoring slain Hattiesburg, Mississippi police officers Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate on May 11, 2015 in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The officers were killed in what started as a routine traffic stop and the four suspects are making their first court appearance today. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
MURDER SUSPECTS IDENTIFIED: If you have any information on Curtis Banks or Marvin Banks call your local agency. http://t.co/Hfw99XJt2f
In this undated photo released by the Hattiesburg Police Department, Officer Benjamin Deen participates in K-9 training at the police academy in Hattiesburg, Miss. Officer Deen and Officer Liquori Tate were fatally shot during a traffic stop, Saturday evening, May 9, 2015, in the southern Mississippi city of Hattiesburg, prompting a statewide manhunt early Sunday for two suspects, authorities said. (Hattiesburg Police Department via AP)
Donna Nelson of Petal, Miss., pays her respects at a makeshift memorial, near the site where two Mississippi police officers were killed, Sunday, May 10, 2015, in Hattiesburg, Miss. The officers were shot to death during an evening traffic stop turned violent, a state law enforcement spokesman said Sunday. Three suspects were in custody, including two who are charged with capital murder. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Area residents Alberta Harris, center, and Waynetta Theodore, left, and Christiena Preston, console each other as they pay their respects at a makeshift memorial, near the site where two Mississippi police officers were killed, Sunday, May 10, 2015, in Hattiesburg, Miss. The officers were shot to death during an evening traffic stop turned violent, a state law enforcement spokesman said Sunday. Three suspects were in custody, including two who are charged with capital murder. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
A City of Hattiesburg employee, left, reacts Sunday morning, May 10, 2015, as a police officer surveys the site where two Hattiesburg, Miss., police officers were shot to death during a Saturday evening traffic stop. Warren Strain, a spokesman for the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, tells The Associated Press that 29-year-old Marvin Banks and 22-year-old Joanie Calloway have each been charged with two counts of capital murder, and Banks' 26-year-old brother, Curtis Banks, has been charged with two counts of accessory after the fact of capital murder. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Miller Rose Mozingo, the youngest daughter of Circuit Judge Tony Mozingo, adjusts a bouquet of Mother's Day roses that the family placed near the site where two Hattiesburg, Miss., police were fatally shot the night before, Sunday, May 10, 2015, in Hattiesburg. Three suspects were in custody, including two who are charged with capital murder. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
This undated photo released by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation shows 26-year-old suspect Curtis Banks. Banks and his brother Marvin, 29, are wanted in the fatal shooting of two Hattiesburg, Miss., police officers on Saturday, May 9, 2015. (Mississippi Bureau of Investigation via The Hattiesburg Police Department via AP)
This undated photo released by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, shows 29-year-old suspect Marvin Banks. Banks and his brother Curtis, 26, are wanted in the fatal shooting of two Hattiesburg, Miss., police officers on Saturday, May 9, 2015. (Mississippi Bureau of Investigation via The Hattiesburg Police Department via AP)
Photos from earlier at the scene at the Bouie Street intersection where 2 HPD officers where killed. #WDAM http://t.co/MdkeZ7sw79
Humbled by the unselfishness of #PoliceOfficers Deen and Tate #ThankYou #LEO #Hattiesburg http://t.co/yzCkx0DHlH
BREAKING: Two Hattiesburg police officers shot. http://t.co/z0SdDu3S1Q
It's with great sadness to say that one of our brothers with Hattiesburg PD was killed in the line of duty. Prayers for his family.
Mayor DuPree prepares to go live with @wdam @RyanMooreMS 4 latest on the HPD officers shot. Tune in @10 #Hattiesburg http://t.co/6IBGr2w5qb
JUST IN: Two police officers shot, killed in Mississippi. Authorities looking for shooter. http://t.co/PmoXNvX8Go http://t.co/NTQsJmyxAu
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Banks' 26-year-old brother, Curtis Banks, is charged with two counts of being an accessory to murder, and 28-year-old Cornelius Clark was arrested on an obstruction charge.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

With lowered flags and prayers, a southern Mississippi city is mourning two police officers, while the four people arrested after their shooting deaths await an initial court appearance Monday.

Red roses decorated a chain-link fence Sunday near the spot where officers Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate were killed, and worshippers remembered the men in a small brick church just a few dozen yards from the scene.

"It's sad. It's just a tragedy," Dorothy Thompson said outside New Hope Baptist Church after a Mother's Day service that included prayers for the officers and their families.

Nearby, bloodstains still marked the asphalt where gunfire erupted Saturday night during what authorities described as a routine traffic stop gone awry.

A memorial event was scheduled for the men at the city convention center Monday afternoon.
Also Monday, an initial court appearance was set in Forrest County for Marvin Banks, 29, and Joanie Calloway, 22, who were each charged with two counts of capital murder.

Banks' 26-year-old brother, Curtis Banks, was charged with two counts of being an accessory to murder after the fact, and 28-year-old Cornelius Clark was arrested on a charge of obstruction of justice.
A preliminary investigation indicated Deen had pulled over a vehicle for speeding and then called for backup, which is when Tate arrived. Gunshots erupted in the road near the Hattiesburg Housing Authority office.

Warren Strain, a spokesman for the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, said it was too early to say who shot the officers or how many shots were fired, and it wasn't clear what prompted the gunfire.
Strain said Marvin Banks also was charged with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and with grand theft for fleeing in squad car after the shooting.

"He didn't get very far, three or four blocks, and then he ditched that vehicle," Strain said.
Married and the father of two, Deen, 34, is a former "Officer of the Year" in Hattiesburg. Tate, 25, graduated from the police academy last year.

In a statement, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant said the officers' deaths "should remind us to thank all law enforcement for their unwavering service."

"May God keep them all in the hollow of his hand," he said.

The U.S. flag flew at half-staff outside the Hattiesburg Police Department after the shootings, and red roses placed on a concrete sign wilted in the afternoon sun.

For many in the community, the first death of an officer in three decades while on duty was a shock. The pain hit particularly close to home for Erica Sherrill Owens, whose mother, Sgt. Jackie Dole Sherrill, was killed in 1984 while trying to serve a warrant on a suspect.

When Owens heard that two officers had been killed, she said she hoped it wasn't someone she knew.
"Then when I heard one of the names, my heart just sank because I went to high school with him," Owens said, who had gone to Sumrall High School with Deen and graduated a year after him in 1999.
"We were great friends in high school. He married his high school sweetheart and he's got two kids and a great family," she said. "It's just heartbreaking."

Tate grew up in Starkville, 150 miles north of Hattiesburg. Strain said he was a 2014 graduate of the law enforcement academy.

He was known to his friends as "CoCo," said his stepfather, B. Lonnie Ross of Jackson, adding that Tate was 12 when they met and already wanted to be a policeman.

"He was the most respectful young man you would meet. It was a pleasure to meet someone so gentle and nice," Ross said. "Everybody who met him liked him."

Jarvis Thompson, who knew Tate from childhood, said he wanted to be a policeman to make a difference in the black community.

"He wanted to become an officer because we've seen so much of our peers get killed or end up in jail," said Thompson, 24, of Starkville. "He was talking all the time about how he wanted to do better and make the place better."

Alberta Harris, who heads the Briarfield Neighborhood Association near the shooting site, said she both of the officers were humble.

"They cared about the people that they were serving and protecting," she said.
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