This photo provided by the Mississippi Department of Public Safety shows Brookhaven patrolman Cpl. Zach Moak. Patrolman James White, 35; and Moak, 31 were shot and killed following an early Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018 confrontation authorities said. Warren Strain of the Mississippi Department of Public Safety said at a news conference that the officers were called to a house in the city of Brookhaven at about 5 a.m. for a report of shots fired. (Mississippi Department of Public Safety via AP)

Mississippi city mourns 2 police officers killed in shooting

September 30, 2018 - 4:32 pm

BROOKHAVEN, Miss. (AP) — Residents mourning two police officers shot and killed over the weekend in a Mississippi city left roses, balloons and other mementos in their honor Sunday, ahead of an evening prayer vigil planned in their memory.

A candlelight service for Officer James White, 35, and Cpl. Zach Moak, 31, was being organized outside the Brookhaven Police Department where the officers had worked. There, every few minutes, people would pull up in cars, leaving flowers, teddy bears and balloons not far from where their patrol cars were parked. Each car was adorned with an American flag, wreaths and flowers.

On the police department's Facebook page, Chief Kenneth Collins called on area residents to turn out for a vigil later Sunday evening "and honor these young men who gave their lives" serving the city of more than 12,000 people located about 60 miles south of the state capital, Jackson.

White and Moak were killed early Saturday.

Warren Strain of the Mississippi Department of Public Safety said Sunday that the shooting suspect, 25-year-old Marquis Flowers, was hospitalized after being wounded in the confrontation. Strain said charges are pending against Flowers and that investigation is ongoing. He did not provide an update on Flowers' medical condition.

Strain had said previously that the officers were called to a house in Brookhaven at about 5 a.m. Saturday for a report of shots fired. Following an exchange of gunfire that left both officers "mortally wounded," the two were pronounced dead at a local hospital, Strain said. He identified the weapon used as a handgun but would not elaborate on the circumstances surrounding the shooting.

On Sunday, children jumped on a trampoline not far from the shooting scene at a Brookhaven duplex. What appeared to be several bullet holes in the aged blue siding of the duplex was circled as evidence by investigators. What appeared to be pooled blood stained the ground steps away.

The Brookhaven chief Collins called White and Moak, both residents of Lincoln County, "heroes."

This is the second time in as many years that a law enforcement official has been killed in the line of duty in the Brookhaven area. Last year Lincoln County Sheriff's Deputy William Durr, who also spent four years with Brookhaven police, was responding to a call when he was shot to death. Authorities said the gunman shot and killed seven other people in a killing spree in and around the Brookhaven area.

Willie Cory Godbolt was arrested May 28, 2017, and is awaiting trial. He is pleading not guilty and faces the death penalty if convicted.

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