° empty

Murder suspect kills Jackson officer inside police headquarters

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.”