WJTV News Channel 12 - More Questions About Gunned Down JPD Detective

More Questions About Gunned Down JPD Detective

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    State investigators won't confirm a report that the shooting death of Jackson police detective Eric Smith was captured on videotape.

    Authorities say Smith was shot and killed last week while interrogating Jeremy Powell in the stabbing death of another man.   

    Police will often use cameras to record interrogation sessions.

    Investigators say 23 year-old Powell wrestled Smith's gun away, shot him four times and then turned the gun on him inside police headquarters Thursday evening.

    Veteran law enforcement officer Ken Winter says there's no way to know if Smith's shooting death could have been prevented.

    "There's times that as a police officer you can do all the right things and still something happens that turn out to be bad," said Winter, former Indianola police chief.

    Winter, who now heads the Mississippi association of chiefs of police, says he doesn't know JPD's specific policy, but it's not unusual for officers to remain armed with their handgun when they question or interrogate someone suspected of a crime inside the police station.

    There also are questions about whether Smith was alone with the young man in the room at the time of the tragic incident that took his life.  

    Meantime, Monday we noticed electronic billboards across the metro honoring the fallen officer with a display on signs along the interstate.

    A spokesman for Lamar advertising says they set aside space free of charge for public service announcements on billboards.

    Smith's funeral is scheduled for 11 AM Saturday at the Lee E. Williams athletics and assembly center on the Jackson State campus.

    Smith will be buried at Autumn Woods cemetery.

    He leaves behind two sons and his wife, who also works for the Jackson police department.

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