LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - On May 6, 1998 the city of Long Beach lost two officers in the line of duty.
Sergeant Steve Morgan and Detective James Northcutt were shot and killed while responding to a domestic dispute. Mayor George Bass recalls the day. He and Morgan were planning to go to lunch when the call came in.
"Sergeant Morgan was one of my best friends," said Bass. "Sitting in my office at the fire department, 30 minutes before he came out here on this street and got shot and lost his life as a result of it."
On the 20th anniversary of Morgan and Northcutt's deaths, family and friends gathered to honor their legacies with the dedication of two monuments.
"Both of these men stood up and did what they were called to do, they responded," Bass said. "They lost their lives and it's our responsibility to remember these people. These men. These heroes. Those two that died and also, the sergeant that's still here with us."
Also in attendance, was a third officer shot that day, Sergeant Bryan Young. He was able to recover and went on to work 18 more years in Long Beach. He retired in 2016.
Prior to the dedication of the monuments, Chief Billy Seal addressed the crowd.
"Yes, we are all affected when one of our brothers or sisters are killed," Seal said. "However I promise you, it will not dissuade us from the way that we conduct ourselves. It won't affect the way that we focus on our mission. We shall honor those that have fallen, by the service that we give you."
Then, a moment of silence, followed by taps.
"We go through it with sadness in our hearts, but gladness that we can remember them and what they stood for," said Bass. "That this is not forgotten. That history books won't look back in the future and say we lost two police officers. That the story will be told year in and year out and it will be passed on to the next generation."
"It's our duty to continually honor and recognize these heroes," Seal said."It means a lot for the legacy of these two officers that made the ultimate sacrifice laying down their lives in the line of duty to protect others."