Families of fallen officers receive $40,000 donations

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HATTIESBURG, MS (WHLT) – Support continues to flow for the families of fallen Hattiesburg Police Officers Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate.

On Monday, the families of the two received a financial gift from the community, as well as a hug from two very special people.

“It is so painful, but we realize God knew what he was doing,” said Bernell Lonnie Ross, stepfather of Officer Tate.

The scars from the night of May 9th 2015 continue to heal for the families.

But Monday, people from all over the country were able to touch their lives through donations which were sent in over the past almost 4 months.

“God had something good. The devil had something bad, but God made some good out of this,” said Ross.

“It’s just totally awesome that they will be taken care of. It’s just so awesome, and I thank Hattiesburg so much,” said Dan Deen, father of Officer Deen.

Each family received a check for $46,050. These were donations sent to an account set up by the City of Hattiesburg at The First bank.

Even more special than the donations, for the first time both families and the two women who found the gunshot wounded officers and called 9-1-1, were in the same room.

“It was a blessing to meet them, and I just thank God,” said Pearnell Robert, one of the women who made the 9-1-1 call.

“We wish we could have been there to comfort him; to talk to him. But they were there so it means so much for us to meet them today and to squeeze them and hug them and share with them. It just means so much,” said Ross.

“The Tate’s, us and these ladies are bonded forever. I just give them my wholehearted thanks,” said Deen.

The Hattiesburg Police Department also thanked the two ladies for their bravery by presenting them with plaques.

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