Suspect Used Cop's Gun in Murder-Suicide

He overpowered detective during police questioning

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 6, 2013 1:50 PM CDT

(Newser) – More details on a shocking murder-suicide during a police interrogation: Murder suspect Jeremy Powell, 23, overpowered 40-year-old Detective Eric Smith during the questioning in Mississippi on Thursday and took his gun, the AP reports. Powell then shot Smith four times before shooting himself fatally in the head. Authorities have video of the shooting, but have not yet responded to a request from the AP that it be released under open records laws.

Smith had decided not to restrain Powell—apparently not an unusual move during police questionings. "It depends on the demeanor of the individual at the time," says a police official. "I would assume that the detective had no reason to believe this guy was aggressive or he wouldn't have been interviewing him in the first place." Being armed during an interrogation isn't unusual either, he adds: "Sometimes you can do everything right and it still turns out bad." Smith had a wife and two sons.

In this 2008 image provided by the Jackson, Miss. Police, Detective Eric Smith, center, flanked by Chief Rebecca Coleman, left, and Assistant Chief Lee Vance accepts a certificate of commendation.   (AP Photo/Jackson Police)
This undated photo provided by the Mississippi Department of Public Safety shows Jeremy R. Powell.   (AP Photo/Mississippi Department of Public Safety)
Jackson, Miss. Assistant Chief Lee Vance, comforts Chief Rebecca Coleman, center right, Thursday, April, 4, 2013, after detective Eric Smith was shot and killed inside the Jackson Police Department.   (AP Photo/The Clarion-Ledger, Greg Jenson)
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