Published: May 6, 2021
A father used his 3-month-old son as a human shield in a shootout with police in Mississippi earlier this week, WALA-TV reported, citing a law enforcement source.
The dad died in the shootout, and the boy passed away later.
How did this tragedy unfold?
The station said it all started out as a domestic dispute in Louisiana, and the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a shooting Monday afternoon, Biloxi police told the station.
Law enforcement then found two dead: Christin Parker and her nephew, Brandon Parker, WALA reported.
Soon police launched a search for Christin Parker’s ex-boyfriend, Eric Derell Smith — and their 3-month-old son, identified by Louisiana news organizations as La’Mello Parker, the station said. Smith was accused of abducting the boy, WALA reported.
Biloxi police joined in to help after learning that the suspect had been spotted on Interstate 10 heading east and nearing Gulfport, WALA said, adding that a slow-speed chase began.
Between the Gulfport and D’Iberville exits, the suspect drove into the grass median, after which a shootout commenced — and Smith died, the station said.
Smith’s infant son was taken to the University and South Alabama University Hospital and later transferred to Children’s and Women’s Hospital, where he died, WALA said.
‘Real rough thing’
Back in Christin Parker’s neighborhood in East Baton Rouge, the station said the incident has left residents shocked.
“It’s quiet,” Kenneshia Cain told WALA. “This has never happened before … We’ve been here over 11 years and have never had a murder … happen on this street.”
Jamal Johnson told the station that Richmond Street was quiet when he got home from work Monday — and then it was suddenly filled with police vehicles. Johnson told WALA his heart goes out to the baby’s four siblings.
“I know it’s a rough thing,” he addd to the station. “So it’s mainly about the kids, how they feel about it. That’s the way everybody ought to look at it. Because it’s a real rough thing.”
Cain told WALA her kids and Parker’s often played together: “My heart goes out to her family, her children. We are praying for them.”
WALA reported that an autopsy had been scheduled Wednesday to determine cause of death, and that Biloxi police said a Harrison County sheriff’s deputy and police officer involved in the shooting are on administrative leave pending the investigation.