A suspect has reportedly killed a detective and himself during an interrogation at the Jackson, Mississippi police headquarters. Jeremy Powell reportedly shot Detective Eric Smith dead before using the same gun to commit suicide.
The two were found dead in a room at police headquarters on Thursday evening. The details of the shooting were confusing as both men were shot multiple times. Further investigation revealed that Powell shot Smith and then turned the gun on himself.
As reported by CBS News, the 23-year-old was being questioned in connection with the stabbing death of 20-year-old Christopher Alexander. At some point during the interrogation, the two were heard shouting. Powell reportedly overpowered Detective Smith, took his gun, and shot him with his own service revolver. He then reportedly turned the gun on himself.
The gunshots were heard by other officers in the building. They went to the room immediately and found both men dead from multiple gunshot wounds.
As reported by the Clarion Ledger, Detective Smith was a well liked and highly respected member of the Jackson Police Department. The 40-year-old man worked as a police officer since 1995, most recently as a detective in the Robbery-Homicide Division.
Detective Smith left behind his colleague and wife, Sergeant Eneke Williams Smith, two children, numerous friends, family, and fellow officers.
Officers with the Jackson police Department were stunned by the shooting and continue to mourn the loss of their respected colleague. Several officers reportedly broke down in grief on the steps in front of the building last night.
Slain JPD Detective Eric Smith remembered as an active, supportive CPSD parent, devoted to his sons: clarionledger.com/article/201304…
— Clinton Schools (@Clintonschools) April 5, 2013
An outpouring a support continues to surround the headquarters. Facebook and Twitter accounts have been flooded with expressions of sympathy for Detective Smith’s loved ones.
— Joe Cumberland (@JOECUMBERLAND) April 5, 2013
Rebecca Coleman, Jackson Police Chief, along with Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. led the city in a moment of silence for the fallen officer earlier this afternoon.
We are asking all citizens to observe a moment of silence today at noon. This is in honor of our fallen Detective Eric Smith.
— Harvey Johnson, Jr. (@HarveyJohnsonJr) April 5, 2013
It may never be known what motivated the suspect to kill Detective Smith and himself during the interrogation. The only thing that is clear is the devastating impact and loss for the city of Jackson.