WJTV News Channel 12 - Family of Killed JPD Detective Speaks at Law Enforcement Vigil

Family of Killed JPD Detective Speaks at Law Enforcement Vigil

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Jackson Police released more information on Tuesday about a shooting that left a senior detective and suspect dead.

The Hinds County Coroner tells WJTV News Channel 12 that 23-year-old Jeremy Powell shot himself twice in the head last Thursday.

Police say that was after Powell shot 18-year veteran of the force, Eric Smith, four times.    

Detective Smith was interviewing Powell on a murder charge at police headquarters when Powell over-powered Smith, took his gun, and shot him.

On Tuesday night Jackson's "Friends of Fallen Riders" and other motorcycle groups raised awareness about the dangers members of law enforcement face everyday.

A group of about 100 bikers rode from Jackson's  "Save-A-Lot" off I-55 to the Greater Antioch Baptist Church where members of law enforcement held a special vigil for Smith and his family.

Peggy Smith, Eric Smith's mother, listened to the music at the event while surrounded by her son's two families: the one at home and the one through law enforcement.

"One thing I can say that can help me get through this is that my son loved his job. Nobody loved that job better than him," Peggy Smith said.

Smith's survivors include his two sons: 17-year-old Quentin and 18-year-old Eric Smith Junior.

"My brother called me. He said 'Your dad got shot'," Smith Jr. said - remember last week.

"And I wasn't accepting of it. I was like 'what?'," Smith Jr. said.

"That same day, you know, I was in a daze for a second. I cried. I cried this morning but I knew my dad, you know what I'm saying? And everybody knows he was a funny dude and he wouldn't want to see us cry," Smith Jr. said.

Smith's mother let her emotions pour during a memorial PowerPoint presentation showing her son with his brother.

"Matter of fact, those are the only two boys I have. They're twins and they're about the love of my life," Peggy Smith said.

She says her son knew the risks of his job but it's just that it's so difficult for a family moving forward.

"Stay strong and we're here for each other and that's all. We've got to pull together and stay with each other," Peggy Smith said.

Eric Smith's funeral is at 11 a.m. on Saturday morning at the Williams Athletics and Assembly Center on the campus of Jackson State University.


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