Hearing set for officers in shooting death of 6-year-old Louisiana boy

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Left: The victim is 6 yr old Jeremy Mardis. Top right: Derrick Stafford, bottom right: Norris Greenhouse Jr.
Left: The victim is 6 yr old Jeremy Mardis. Top right: Derrick Stafford, bottom right: Norris Greenhouse Jr.

MARKSVILLE, La. — Nearly a week after two officers allegedly killed a 6-year-old boy while pursuing his father’s car in Louisiana, disturbing questions remain.

Why did officers target the father, Chris Few?

Did they know him?

Why did they open fire on 6-year-old Jeremy Mardis?

A court hearing scheduled Monday in the shooting death of Jeremy in Marksville could provide some answers on the tragedy.

‘Disturbing’ footage

The first grader was buckled in the front passenger seat when he was shot Tuesday.

The head of Louisiana’s state police said “disturbing” body camera footage helped build the case against the two officers accused of shooting the boy.

“I’ve been a police officer for 35 years, but as a father — much less as a state police — it was a disturbing, disturbing video that I watched, and that really helped move us forward,” state police Col. Michael Edmonson said Sunday.

The boy’s father was also struck. He remains hospitalized in serious condition, authorities said.

Murder charges

Officers Norris Greenhouse Jr., 23, and Derrick Stafford, 32, have been arrested and charged with second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder.

“I’ve got to deal in facts. What’s important to me is what caused those police officers to pursue,” Edmonson said. “What caused them to open fire?”

“He (Jeremy) didn’t deserve to die like that. We need to find out why,” the colonel added.

The shooting occurred in Marksville, a town of 5,500 people about 90 miles northwest of Baton Rouge.

It’s unclear why officers pursued or why shots were fired. Investigators say there were no outstanding warrants against the father, and no firearm was found in his vehicle.

Jeremy’s teacher Roxanne Couvillion said the boy loved class, playing and alphabet puzzles.

“We’re just heartbroken,” she said, steps from a small memorial made up of balloons and stuffed animals. “He always was an angel, and we know that he’s watching over us.”

Jeremy will be laid to rest Monday afternoon in Hattiesburg, Miss.

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