Two police officers in Louisiana are facing murder charges after a 6-year-old boy was shot to death in the front seat of his father’s vehicle, authorities said.
The shooting happened on a dead-end street at the end of a Tuesday night chase in Marksville, a town of about 5,500 about 90 miles northwest of Baton Rouge, authorities said.
It’s unclear why officers pursued or why shots were fired, since investigators say there were no outstanding warrants against the father, Chris Few, and that no firearm was found in his vehicle.
Jeremy Mardis, a first-grader, was hit by five bullets in the head and chest as the officers pursued his father’s car, according to CNN affiliate WAFB. His father was hospitalized with gunshot wounds and was listed in critical condition.
“We took some of the body cam footage. I’m not gonna talk about it, but I’m gonna tell you this — it is the most disturbing thing I’ve seen and I will leave it at that,” State Police Col. Michael Edmonson said at a news conference late Friday. “That little boy was buckled into the front seat of that vehicle and that is how he died.”
Norris Greenhouse Jr., 23, and Derrick Stafford, 32, were charged with second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder. They were placed on administrative leave, as were two other marshals involved in the chase who have not been charged.
As of Saturday evening, Stafford and Greenhouse were being held at the Avoyelles Parish Detention Center in Cottonport, about 10 miles from Marksville. They were being held separately from the facility’s general population, according to an official who spoke with CNN.
Greenhouse and Stafford were working second jobs as city marshals when the shooting happened. Greenhouse is a full-time Marksville police lieutenant and Stafford is a marshal in Alexandria, Edmonson said.