Mississippi detective shot, killed with own gun during interrogation, investigators say
JACKSON, Miss. — The police detective killed while interrogating a murder suspect at department headquarters in Mississippi's capital city was shot four times before the suspect shot himself in the head, authorities said Friday
Hinds County Coroner Sharon Grisham-Stewart told The Associated Press that Jackson Police Detective Eric Smith was shot twice in the chest and twice in the arm with a 9 mm pistol.
Jeremy Powell, 23, wrested Smith's gun away while he was being questioned, shot the detective, then himself, Mississippi Bureau of Investigation spokesman Warren Strain said.
Jackson authorities said the shooting happened in a third-floor interrogation room while Smith was seeking information on a stabbing death earlier this week.
Powell had one gunshot in his head, the coroner said.
Smith, 40, had been with the police department nearly 20 years and was assigned to the Robbery-Homicide Division. The physically fit Smith was praised for his work leading numerous high-profile murder investigations, officials said.
Ken Winter, executive director of the Mississippi Association of Chiefs of Police, said it's not unusual for an officer to be armed during an interview unless it's being conducted in a secure area, like a jail. Jails typically require all visitors to check their weapons, including law enforcement officers.
Winter spent 36 years in law enforcement as a police chief, a detective and as director of the state crime lab.
“For him to be armed, I'd expect that,” Winter said. “I don't think I did an interview when I wasn't armed, unless I was doing it in the jail.”
But it is rare for an officer to be killed inside a police department, Winter said. He said he couldn't recall such an instance in recent years in Mississippi.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Sen. Reid follows same old script for Democrats as he endorses Schumer as successor
- Report: Prepare to drill for oil in Arctic
- Clinton wiped private email server ‘clean’
- GOP budget proposal guts federal spending, health care
- 30 new species of flies found in L.A. experiment
- Baby cut from Colo. mom-to-be didn’t live outside wombm, autopsy finds
- National briefs
- Excessive use of solitary found for juveniles in Baltimore jail
- Fla. debates buy-America bill for U.S. flag purchases
- Global warming is slowing down the circulation of the oceans — with potentially dire consequences
- Gun used by agent who helped jail Capone headed to museum