An entire Louisiana community is mourning the loss of Jeremy Mardis after the six-year-old autistic boy was caught in the line of fire as officers tried to apprehend his father. It’s still not clear who fired the fatal shot.
WAFB reports that Mardis was sitting in the front passenger seat of the vehicle with his father Chris Few Tuesday in Marksville when court deputies, who are authorized to carry weapons according to CBS News, began their pursuit. Few had already fled an attempt to serve a warrant earlier that day.
Few found himself at a dead end after turning onto Martin Luther King Dr. The deputies opened fire when he moved his vehicle in their direction.
Avoyelles Parish Coroner L. J. Mayeux said that Mardis suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the head and chest after being “caught in the line of fire.”
“It’s still under investigation, but all indications are that the shots came from outside the vehicle,” Mayeux said.
The coroner added that the boy and his father had been living with Jeremy’s grandmother – Samantha Few. She spent Wednesday with her son in hospital where Chris Few is in critical condition, according to Tpr. Scott Moreau.
Mardis’ grandmother wouldn’t grant a media request for an interview but did note, in a statement, that Jeremy had been diagnosed with autism approximately four years ago.
“[Jeremy] was diagnosed with autism when he was two. He loved everyone he met and they loved him,” she said in a statement. “As far as what caused his death, the only thing I have been told is he died from gun shot wounds.”
“He didn’t deserve what happened. He wouldn’t hurt a fly.”
State police have taken over the investigation.