A Louisiana father used his three-month-old baby as a human shield during a shootout with Mississippi police that ended with his death and that of his infant son.
The father, Eric Derell Smith, 30, was struck and killed by multiple gunshots. The infant, La’Mello Parker, was struck once and killed, but the local coroner’s office did not immediately confirm whether the baby was shot by the police or by the father.
The shootout took place near the Mississippi-Louisiana border after Smith kidnapped three-month-old La’Mello Parker after he fatally shot his ex-girlfriend, Christin Parker, 32, and her nephew, Brandon Parker, 26.
Several minutes after the shooting, Smith was seen on Interstate 10 using the infant as a human shield as Biloxi officers fired off several gunshots. Smith died during the shootout and Parker was rushed to a nearby hospital where he later died from his injuries.
The police officer and Harrison County sheriff’s deputy who were present during the shootout were placed on administrative leave.
Authorities said Parker and her nephew were shot inside her home in Baton Rouge Parish but the events that led up to the shooting are currently unknown.
Many questions from the media remain unanswered by investigators and the Louisiana police. Questions that continue to fly around include whether La’Mello was shot and killed by police and whether Smith opened fire on police first or if the cops started shooting and him and the baby first.
A Biloxi Police Department spokesperson told Daily Mail that Smith did open fire at police at some point. However, this official did not clarify if Smith fired first or if his bullets were sent flying during the car chase or the final standoff. The spokesperson did not comment on the death of the baby boy.
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