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Suspect in Florida cop slayings captured

By the CNN Wire Staff
Dontae Rashawn Morris is accused of shooting two officers during a Tampa, Florida, traffic stop on Tuesday.
Dontae Rashawn Morris is accused of shooting two officers during a Tampa, Florida, traffic stop on Tuesday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Suspect Dontae Morris arrested
  • He was turned in by a third party
  • Funeral for slain officers is Saturday
  • Tampa police chief relieved arrests made before service

(CNN) -- A Florida man wanted in connection with the shooting deaths of two Tampa police officers has been arrested, authorities said Friday night.

Dontae Morris was turned in by a third party, Police Chief Jane Castor told reporters at a late night news conference. He is being held at the Hillsborough County Jail.

"I can't tell you how relieved the men and women of the Tampa police department are," Castor said. "This has brought us a sense of closure, and I pray the arrest brings a level of peace to the families of the officers."

Morris is accused of shooting police officers Jeffrey Kocab and David Curtis during an early morning traffic stop near downtown Tampa on Tuesday. Both men died later at the hospital, according to police.

Castor also announced the arrest of 22-year-old Cortnee Brantly, the woman believed to have been driving the car at the time of the shooting.

Video: Cop-killing suspect sought
Video: Slain police officers were 'family men'
RELATED TOPICS
  • Tampa
  • Shootings

"She was arrested by Hillsborough County sheriff deputies in Brandon," Castor said. "She is facing federal charges of witnessing a felony and not reporting it."

Brantly was questioned by police for several hours immediately after the shooting Tuesday, but was not arrested at that time.

Funeral services for the two officers are scheduled for Saturday. Castor said the arrests mean the department will be able to provide the officers with the honorable tribute they deserve.

Both officers were age 31. Kocab's wife is due to give birth next week, authorities said. Curtis leaves behind a wife and four sons, including an 8-month-old.

Curtis pulled the suspect vehicle over about 2:15 a.m. ET Tuesday and Brantly gave him identification and vehicle registration that did not match the vehicle, according to police.

Running a criminal history check, Curtis found that Morris had an outstanding warrant for a worthless check out of Jacksonville. He called for backup, and Kocab responded. Police said as the two officers tried to arrest the suspect, he pulled out a gun and shot them.

After the shooting, Castor called Morris "a cold-blooded killer." She reiterated that Friday night.

"I stand by my definition of a cold-blooded killer. Thank God he is behind bars right now."

Mayor Pamela Iorio said she was "thankful that we have been able to arrest him before the Saturday funeral. Tonight, everyone in Tampa can sleep easier because Dontae Morris is off the street."