Jeremy David Mardis, a 6-year-old autistic first-grader from Marksville, Louisiana, was shot and killed on Tuesday evening while driving with his father. Authorities report that at approximately 9:30 p.m., Chris Few, the father of the young boy, was attempting to flee as police tried to serve him a warrant. Allegedly, Few tried to ram a police vehicle with his car and police opened fire, Jeremy was in the front seat of the car and was killed as a result of those actions.
Initial reports that Chris Few had warrants out for his arrest are conflicted, as Lousiana State Police later confessed that they cannot find any warrants in Chris Few’s name. Allegedly, when approached by the police officers, Few did not pull over and instead attempted to outrun the police. During his attempt to flee the police, he is said to have reached a dead end, but despite being cornered, the father still tried to make a run for it and began to reverse into the police cruisers. Dr. L.J. Mayeux, the coroner of Avoyelles Parish, stated that Few backed into the vehicles a number of times and refused to exit the vehicle when asked. This is when the police opened fire on the truck.
Chris Few was critically wounded in the police shooting and remains in the hospital, but his young son was not so fortunate. Jeremy was shot a total of five times and received two fatal bullets to his torso as well as his head, and authorities report that Jeremy Mardis was killed at the scene. The 6-year-old Lafargue Elementary School attendee became one of the over 834 people who have been shot and killed by American police officers thus far in the year 2015.
Investigations have revealed that there was no exchange of gunfire, and all shots fired were done so by the Marksville city marshals, although they are as yet unable to tally the total number of shots fired. The Washington Post stated that an estimate of about 13 to 18 shots were fired by the two officers. Chris Few did not have a gun.
Of the statistics regarding deaths from police shooting, Jeremy became one of 17 children who have been shot and killed by police officers this year. Of those children killed, two were unarmed, and 6-year-old Jeremy was one of them. He is also the youngest person killed by officers this year. His family is distraught, and as his grandmother kept vigil at Few’s bedside, she spared a few words about the terrible death of her autistic grandson.
“Jeremy was a special gift from God. He was always smiling always happy. He was diagnosed with autism when he was 2. He loved everyone he met and they loved him. As far as what caused his death, the only thing I have been told is he died from gun shot wounds. He didn’t deserve what happened. He wouldn’t hurt a fly.”
The fatal police shooting of the 6-year-old boy and critical wounding of his father is under investigation by the state police. An autopsy is scheduled to be performed on the minor’s body. The names of the four officers who were at the scene have not been released to the public, but in a press conference held on Thursday, Col. Mike Edmonson, the head of Louisiana State Police, said that they will be speaking to all the police officers involved in order to ascertain the full story behind the death of Jeremy Mardis.
The police officers involved were reportedly still on active duty, but Edmonson said the state would recommend they be placed on administrative leave. However, that decision “will be up to the chief.” It is the aim of the investigation to determine what preceded the car chase as well. They will be speaking to witnesses and analyzing footage of the scene.
According to NBC News, Jeremy Mardis and his father, Chris Few, had just moved to Marksville in April. Mardis’ grandmother says that she plans to hold a service for her grandson once his body has been released.
[Photo Courtesy of Chris Few’s Facebook Post]