WJTV News Channel 12 - JPD Investigation: Clip Fell From Detective's Handgun

JPD Investigation: Clip Fell From Detective's Handgun

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     Hoping to put to rest speculation about the shooting death of detective Eric Smith, top brass with the Jackson police department held a Monday news conference to discuss where the case stands.

     "The preliminary internal affairs investigation reveals there were no policy violations," said Chief Rebecca Coleman.

     Coleman says there is no policy that prohibits an officer from carrying a service revolver into an interrogation room.

     That's what Smith did on April 4th, when he was overpowered by Jeremy Powell. Smith was in the process of arresting Powell on a murder charge, when the 23 year-old man took the officer's handgun, shot Smith four times and then turned the gun on himself, according to investigators.

     Powell had one handcuff on his arm, but otherwise he was not restrained.

     In their remarks, Chief Coleman and asst. chief Lee Vance did focus on the actions of Smith's partner during the tragic incident inside police headquarters.

     Video captured from the day of the shooting appears to show Smith's partner, detective Patricia Wilder, armed with her handgun outside police headquarters moments after wilder fled the interrogation room.

     Wilder tried to help her fellow officer. Chief Coleman says Wilder fired one shot from her gun but it malfunctioned, and the clip fell out of her weapon.

    The chief says the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations is performing an analysis on the gun.

    Smith, an 18 year veteran of the force, was laid to rest this weekend.

    Wilder remains on paid leave from the department.

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