A pair of Louisiana cops were arrested and charged with murdering a six-year-old boy who had autism. The first-grader was riding in the front seat with his dad when the officers, engaged in a pursuit with the father, unloaded 18 rounds into the suspect’s vehicle, wounding the father and striking the son at least five times in the head and chest. The boy died at the scene.
Writes The Associated Press on Nov. 8, via MSN News: “Derrick Stafford, 32, of Mansura, and Norris Greenhouse Jr., 23, of Marksville, each faced charges of second-degree murder. They were being held in the Avoyelles Parish jail. The dead child was 6-year-old Jeremy Mardis, who was in a car being driven Tuesday by his father, Chris Few.”
The shooting occurred after Few led the officers on a brief chase in his vehicle. Cornered on a dead end street in Marksville, a small town approximately 90-miles northeast of Baton Rouge, Greenhouse, a full-time Marksville police lieutenant and Stafford, a police marshal from Alexandria, opened fire on the vehicle.
Investigators have not revealed why the officers barraged the car with gunfire. Reports indicate Few had no outstanding warrants; news outlets reporting that the men were attempting to serve a warrant on Few are incorrect, according to Col. Mike Edmonson, superintendent of Louisiana State Police, who added that no firearms were found in Few’s vehicle.
“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,” Edmonson said at a news conference last Friday, according to CNN. “That little boy was buckled into the front seat of that vehicle and that is how he died… Six years old. He didn’t deserve to die like that.”
Adds the AP report: “Few’s 57-year-old stepfather, Morris German, earlier in the week accused the marshals of indiscriminately opening fire on the vehicle. German said Few was heavily sedated, unable to talk and had bullet fragments lodged in his brain and lung. He described Few was a loving father and added the man’s son ‘was his whole life.’”
“That video was incredible,” Edmonson said. “I mean, as a father, much less head of the state police, I looked at that tape, I said this is incredibly disturbing.”
Some reports indicated that Few may have rammed the police cruiser in an attempt to escape; Edmonson spoke to that, saying “the damage to the police car was apparently very minor,” and that based on the evidence, “it doesn’t seem [that way] from what we see because we don’t know why they were trying to chase him.”
The arrested Louisiana cops are currently being held at the Avoyelles Parish Detention Center in Cottonport, in isolation away from the inmate general population.