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Suspect kills detective, self in police station

By Holbrook Mohr and Jeff Amy

Associated Press

Published: Friday, April 5 2013 9:38 p.m. MDT

This 2008 image provided by the Jackson, Miss. Police shows Detective Eric Smith. Authorities say a murder suspect shot Smith inside the Jackson police headquarters and that both the suspect and detective are dead. A Mississippi murder suspect used a Smith's gun to kill the detective and then himself inside police headquarters on Thursday, April 4, 2013. (AP Photo/Jackson Police)

Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. — The police detective killed while interrogating a murder suspect at department headquarters in Mississippi's capital city was shot four times before the suspect shot and killed himself, authorities said Friday.

Hinds County Coroner Sharon Grisham-Stewart told The Associated Press that Jackson Police Detective Eric Smith was shot twice in the chest and twice in the arm with a 9 mm pistol.

Jeremy Powell, 23, wrested Smith's gun away while he was being questioned, shot the detective, then himself, Mississippi Bureau of Investigation spokesman Warren Strain said Friday.

Jackson authorities said the shooting happened in a third-floor interrogation room while Smith was seeking information on a stabbing death earlier this week.

Powell had one gunshot to the head, the coroner said.

Smith, 40, had been with the police department nearly 20 years and was assigned to the Robbery-Homicide Division. The physically fit Smith had led numerous high-profile murder investigations, officials said.

Ken Winter, executive director of the Mississippi Association of Chiefs of Police, said it's not unusual for an officer to be armed during an interview unless it's being conducted in a secure area, like a jail. Jails typically require all visitors to check their weapons, including law enforcement officers. It is rare for an officer to be killed inside a police department, Winter said.

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