Authorities said Det. Eric Smith, a tall, fit investigator and decorated homicide detective who had been with the department since 1995, was gunned down inside an interview room late Thursday afternoon as he was questioning the 23-year-old murder suspect, Jeremy Powell.
Officers heard several gunshots, and when they went to the room, found both Smith — a married father — and Powell dead of multiple gunshot wounds, police said.
Police in Jackson, the capital of Mississippi, were clearly shaken by the killing of one of their own inside a high-security building where officers and residents alike expect to be safe. But they did not release any details about what they believed happened. They said the case has been turned over to the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, which is standard procedure.
"The entire city of Jackson and the Jackson Police Department family are all hurting," said Jackson city spokesman Chris Mims. "We are asking for the public's patience while we find out why this tragic incident happened and how it happened."