HARRISON COUNTY, Miss. (BRPROUD) — A Mississippi grand jury found “no criminal conduct” for the officers involved in the shooting death of Eric Smith and three-month-old La’Mello Parker during a pursuit on I-10 back in May 2021.
According to the Harrison County Grand Jury report, Eric Smith, the father of La’Mello, killed Christin and Brandon Parker before he fled the scene with La’Mello. The East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office obtained search warrants for Smith, charging him with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of kidnapping.
Documents said officials pinged his phone, locating his vehicle traveling eastbound on I-10 near Slidell and once Smith entered the Mississippi state line, spike strips were deployed around the 11-mile marker on I-10.
The report states Smith exited his vehicle with La’Mello clenched to his chest and began firing at the police parked behind his vehicle. Smith allegedly reentered his vehicle and led police on a “low-speed” pursuit.
At the 40-mile marker, according to the report, Smith’s vehicle was forced into a grassy median by deputies. Smith rolled down his window and fired in the direction of the deputies. Documents said gunshots were returned from authorities, hitting Smith three times and La’Mello once.
After the grand jury reviewed the pursuit from the dashcam they released the following statement:
“After full and deliberate consideration of all the facts and circumstances leading up to the May 3, 2021 shooting of Eric Smith and La’Mello Parker, and the circumstances as they existed at the time of the shooting, the Grand Jury finds no criminal conduct on behalf of the law enforcement officers involved. The Grand Jury finds recommends that agencies addresses procedures in place and implement training related to communication and chain of command in multi-jurisdictional cases.“