September 29, 2018 / 6:12 PM / 3 months ago

Two Mississippi police officers killed in gunfight with man

A combination picture of Patrolman James White, 35, and Corporal Zach Moak, 31, are in these undated photos in Brookhaven, Mississippi, U.S., provided September 29, 2018. Mississippi Department of Public Safety/Handout via REUTERS

(Reuters) - Two police officers were shot and killed in a southern Mississippi town during a gunfight with a 25-year-old man before dawn on Saturday, officials said.

The officers from Brookhaven, less than 60 miles (100 km) south of Jackson, had gone to a house to respond to a report that shots had been fired, Mississippi Department of Public Safety spokesman Warren Strain said in an email.

It was not immediately clear what led to the exchange of gunfire between the officers and the suspect.

The two officers, Corporal Zack Moak, 31, and Patrolman James White, 35, were transported to a Brookhaven hospital where they were pronounced dead, Strain said in the email.

The 25-year-old suspect, Marquis Aaron Flowers, who lives near the house where the shooting took place, was wounded in the gunfight and later taken to a Jackson hospital.

Flowers’ medical condition was not immediately known and it was not clear if he had an attorney. An investigation into the shooting is ongoing.

The Brookhaven police chief did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant on Twitter called on people to pray for “the family and loved ones of these fallen heroes.”

Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Matthew Lewis

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