Two police officers were arrested on charges of second-degree murder and second-degree attempted murder for a shooting Tuesday in Louisiana that left a 6-year-old boy dead and his father critically wounded, a state police official said during a news conference on Friday night.
Norris Greenhouse Jr., 23, and Derrick Stafford, 32, were arrested on Friday night after state police say they fired 18 shots at the car in which Christopher Few and his 6-year-old son, Jeremy Mardis, were riding, Col. Mike Edmonson of the Louisiana State Police said during a news conference.
“Jeremy didn’t deserve to die like this,” Edmonson said, adding that the shooting has tarnished the badge of law enforcement officers. “That little boy was buckled in the front seat of that vehicle, and that is how he died.”
Mardis was killed after being struck by five bullets — making him the youngest victim of a fatal police shooting this year. Few survived and was hospitalized.
Greenhouse and Stafford are two of four officers who were present during the shooting. While initial reports claimed that the officers were attempting to arrest Few on an outstanding warrant, Edmonson said that was not the case and it remains unclear why the chase began.
Avoyelles Parish coroner L. J. Mayeux has previously told The Post that Few fled officers, who then chased him into a dead end street before opening fire on his vehicle.
Edmonson said that both Greenhouse and Stafford, both sworn police officers, were working second jobs as city marshals during the shooting. Both men, Edmonson said, have yet to speak to investigators.
“We took some of the body cam footage,” Edmonson said. “I’m not gonna talk about it, but I’m gonna tell you this. It is the most disturbing thing I’ve seen and I will leave it at that.”
Marksville District Attorney Charles Riddle said Friday night that his office will recuse itself from the case, handing the prosecution of the case over to the state attorney general’s office.
“Justice has been done tonight,” Edmonson said. “But the investigation is far from over.”
There have been at least 838 fatal on-duty police shootings so far this year, according to a Washington Post database. Greenhouse and Stafford will become just the sixth and seventh police officers to be charged with a crime for an on-duty shooting that occurred this year.
Jeremy is one of 17 children who have been shot and killed by police officers this year
“We are saddened by the loss of Jeremy Mardis,” Marksville police chief Elster Smith Jr said, speaking on behalf of the city and his police department during an earlier press conference, on Thursday. “I am a father of four, and I realize what this family is going through. We will get to the bottom of it.”