Coroner: Gunshot killed baby at end of father’s police chase

National

BILOXI, Miss. (AP) — A single gunshot killed an infant who was with his father as the Louisiana man died in a barrage of gunfire after Mississippi police chased the man because he was suspected of killing the baby’s mother and another person, a coroner said Wednesday.

An autopsy was conducted on La’Mello Parker, who was just over 3 months old. The coroner of Harrison County, Mississippi — Brian Switzer — told The Associated Press that Biloxi police investigators will compare the bullet to the weapons that were fired at the scene to try to determine the source of the fatal shot.

Switzer declined to say what part of the baby’s body was shot. He said a pathologist will determine whether the fatal shot came from close range or a distance.

Switzer said the baby died early Tuesday at USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital in Mobile, Alabama.

The wounded baby was hospitalized after officers ended the chase by firing at the car driven by Eric Derell Smith of Baton Rouge, who died of multiple gunshot wounds Monday after he finally came to a stop in the median of Interstate 10 near Biloxi, Mississippi.

The pursuit was joined by more than a dozen officers from the Mississippi Highway Patrol, Gulfport Police Department and the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department. Biloxi police are investigating because none of that department’s officers were involved.

Smith was a suspect in two killings early Monday near Baker, Louisiana, according to authorities.

WBRZ-TV reported that the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office said Smith, 30, entered the home and fatally shot his ex-girlfriend and her nephew. They were identified as Christin Parker, 32, and Brandon Parker, 26.

One of Christin Parker’s other children ran to neighbors for help after her mother was shot, and that helped deputies identify Smith as the suspect, The Advocate reported.

WLOX-TV showed a video taken by a bystander of the final barrage of gunfire after more than a dozen law enforcement vehicles, blue lights flashing, pursued Smith’s car.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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