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Article published April 5, 2013
Suspect used detective’s gun to kill officer
JACKSON, Miss. — A murder suspect wrestled a gun away from the detective interrogating him at police headquarters in Mississippi’s capital, then fatally shot the officer before killing himself, authorities said today. Mississippi Bureau of Investigation spokesman Warren Strain said today that 23-year-old Jeremy Powell seized the gun from Jackson Police Detective Eric Smith in a third-floor interrogation room. Smith, 40, had been with the agency nearly 20 years, was physically fit and was praised for his work leading numerous high-profile murder investigations, officials said. “Eric was killed with his own gun,” Strain said. Strain said he didn’t have details about the gun but said it was Smith’s service weapon. Officials are slowly releasing details of how the men died Thursday. The state agency took over the investigation from the Jackson Police Department. Powell was being questioned in connection with the stabbing death earlier this week of a 20-year-old Jackson man. Autopsies were being performed today at the state crime laboratory, but Strain said it could be several days before the findings are released. The policy of the Mississippi Department of Public Safety is that autopsy reports are not released until they are completed, and some tests could take a few days, he said.