Members of the Jackson police department are in mourning after one of their own is gunned down inside police headquarters.
Authorities tell us Thursday evening veteran detective Eric Smith was killed in an interview room on the third floor of the building on Pascagoula Street in downtown.
After the shots rang out, people inside were told to quickly evacuate. Armed officers with guns drawn could be seen rushing into the building.
Officials tell us Smith was questioning a murder suspect when an altercation between the officer and suspect took a tragic turn.
A statement from police identified the person being questioned by Smith as 23 year-old Jeremy Powell. He also died as a result of gunshot wounds.
According to the preliminary investigation, Powell was in the process of being arrested for the April 1st murder of Christopher Alexander.
MS Department of Public Safety spokesman,Warren Strain says that Smith was overpowered. Powell took possession of Smith's gun, shot Detective Smith and then shot himself, making this incident a murder suicide.
According to various sources, Smith is survived by his wife, a fellow police office and two sons.
Jackson mayor Harvey Johnson remembers Smith as dedicated public servant. "Our hearts go out to the Smith family. Detective Smith was an excellent officer from all reports, he's just been recognized as one of Jackson's best."
Reports say Smith, 40, had been with the police department since 1995 and was assigned to the robbery and homicide division.
Detective Smith graduated from Callaway High School in Jackson.
The Mississippi Bureau of Investigations is in charge of investigating this incident.
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