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Suspect shot officer, then himself, investigators say

A press conference in Jackson, Mississippi confirms that both a cop and a murder suspect are dead. The incident occurred after the suspect was brought into police custody for questioning.

A murder suspect shot a police detective who was interviewing him at police headquarters in Mississippi's capital city, then shot himself, state authorities said Friday.

Police had previously not disclosed who fired the shot that killed the suspect, 23-year-old Jeremy Powell. Mississippi Bureau of Investigation spokesman Warren Strain said Friday that Powell shot Detective Eric Smith before killing himself. 

The state agency took over the investigation from the Jackson Police Department. 

The men died in a third-floor room Thursday where Smith was interrogating Powell after his arrest. Powell had been arrested in connection with the stabbing death earlier this week of a 20-year-old Jackson man. 

Greg Jenson / The Clarion-Ledger via AP

Jackson, Miss. Assistant Chief Lee Vance, center left, comforts Chief Rebecca Coleman, center right, on Thursday after detective Eric Smith was shot and killed inside the Jackson Police Department. A suspect was also killed.

Autopsies were to be performed Friday, said Hinds County Coroner Sharon Grisham-Stewart. 

City and state officials continued to mourn the death of Smith, a detective who had led the investigation of a number of high-profile murder cases in Mississippi's largest city. Smith, 40, was described as a tall and fit officer who had been with the department since 1995. 

Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. and Jackson Police Chief Rebecca Coleman asked for a moment of silence at noon Friday. 

"Let us all come together as a city to mourn the loss of this exceptional member of the Jackson Police Department family," Johnson said in a statement. "Though we will never know the full measure of sorrow experienced by the family of Detective Smith, we can let them know that we stand with them during this difficult time." 

Gov. Phil Bryant, a former Hinds County sheriff's deputy, also noted Smith's passing at a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the Mississippi Highway Patrol. 

 

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