The head of Louisiana’s state police said “disturbing” body camera footage helped build the case against two officers in the shooting death of a 6-year-old boy.
Jeremy Mardis, a first grader, was shot to death as officers pursued his father’s vehicle. The boy was buckled in the front seat.
“I’ve been a police officer for 35 years, but as a father — much less as a state police — it was a disturbing, disturbing video that I watched, and that really helped move us forward,” State Police Col. Michael Edmonson told CNN on Sunday
The boy’s father was also struck. He remains hospitalized in serious condition, a spokeswoman said.
Officers Norris Greenhouse Jr., 23, and Derrick Stafford, 32, have been arrested and face charges of second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder. According to Edmonson, a hearing is scheduled in their case on Monday.
“I’ve got to deal in facts. What’s important to me is what caused those police officers to pursue,” he said. “What caused them to open fire?”
“He (Jeremy) didn’t deserve to die like that. We need to find out why,” the colonel added.
The shooting took place Tuesday in Marksville, a town of about 5,500, about 90 miles northwest of Baton Rouge.
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.
Roxanne Couvillion was Jeremy’s teacher. She said that the little boy loved class, playing and doing alphabet puzzles.
“We’re just heartbroken,” she told CNN, standing steps from a small memorial made up of balloons and stuffed animals. “He always was an angel and we know that he’s watching over us.”