Murder suspect kills Jackson officer inside police headquarters

Published 12:09am Friday, April 5, 2013

JACKSON (AP) — A murder suspect being interviewed at the Jackson police headquarters shot a detective Thursday, and those who came to investigate the gunfire found both men dead, authorities said.

The suspect, who was not identified, was being questioned on the third floor of the building when the shooting happened, said Police Chief Rebecca Coleman. Police did not release any details on the sequence of what happened but scheduled a news conference for later Thursday night.

The officer was identified as Detective Eric Smith, a homicide investigator.

City police spokesman Chris Mims described Smith as “a decorated detective and well-respected law-enforcement person throughout the state of Mississippi.”

“He was in the processing of questioning that suspect,” Mims said of the detective. “Other officers in the police department heard gunshots ring out, and when they went to the interview room, discovered that both the suspect and the detective were deceased.”

The police headquarters was on lockdown Thursday night, Mims said.

Jackson City Councilman Chokwe Lumumba was in police headquarters with the mayor afterward and said Smith was shot by the suspect. He did not know how the suspect ended up dead.

“I understand there may have been more than one police officer in the room,” Lumumba said outside the police building.

The headquarters was blocked off and surrounded by crime tape. Law enforcement and Jackson city officials rushed to the scene.

Mims said the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation will take over the investigation, which is standard procedure.

“This is a very tragic situation,” he said. “The entire city of Jackson and the Jackson Police Department family are all hurting. We are asking for the public’s patience while we find out why this tragic incident happened and how it happened.”

  • staynsaved

    I take it, war on criminal justice system?

  • Anonymous

    How did the suspect get the gun?

  • Anonymous

    If the suspect was in questioning the whole tragic event must be on videotape.

  • Anonymous

    If Chocolate LaMumble said it, it be da truf.

  • concerned redneck

    Most police stations you have to lock your weapons up upon entering. Wonder if that policy applies there?

  • Afro

    inappropriate comment made by an blithering imbecile.

  • Anonymous

    For some reason I could not copy and paste in the statements I wanted to address. In regards to Lumumba, the article states that “He did not know how the suspect ended up dead.” To me, that means you must be ruling out suicide.

    Lumumba stated, “I understand there may have been more than one police officer in the room.” Well, surely someone KNOWS what happened! And, is it possible that one of those police officers shot and killed the suspect?!?!?

    I’m sure an investigation is underway but why muddy up the waters with all these foolish statements when it is pretty cut and dry … this suspect got a hold of somebody’s gun (or came into the station with one) and used it on Detective Smith. Then, one of the other officers in the room opened fire on the suspect and killed him.

    With the statements regarding others hearing gunshots, well just count the number of times Detective Smith was shot … that should give you a pretty good clue as to whether there were two guns involved.

    This is a very tragic situation. There is a lot to be learned from this incident. There are at least three families grieving … Detective Smith’s, the suspect’s, and the murdered victim’s family who may not get answers or closure. I sure hope everything is sorted out soon.