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Gulfport Police respond to calls for transparency in death of 3 month old

It’s been 6 months since an officer-involved shooting that led to the death of a multiple murder suspect and his 3 month old child.  Eric Smith killed his ex-girlfriend–Christin Parker–and her nephew in Louisiana, then fled into south Mississippi on I-10 with the baby, La’Mello Parker, in his car.  Several law enforcement agencies worked together to bring his vehicle to stop, and minutes after a shootout ensued.

The Mississippi Rising Coalition, Black Lives Matter and the American Descendants of Slaves are demanding that evidence be made public, but Gulfport Police Chief Chris Ryle stressed that this is still considered an active investigation, and all evidence is in possession of the Biloxi Police Department.

Gulfport Police released the following statement Tuesday:

The Gulfport Police Department has received numerous inquiries regarding the Biloxi Police Department investigation regarding the May 3, 2021, officer-involved shooting that led to the death of the multiple murder suspect, Eric Derell Smith, and his infant child La’Melo Parker. This investigation is being conducted at the direction of the Harrison County District Attorney’s Office.

The case is pending presentation to the Grand Jury. As such, it is still considered an active
investigation. The Gulfport Police Department wants to ensure that this investigation is not
hampered. All evidence and merits of the investigation are in possession of the Biloxi Police

“Any time a life is lost, especially a child, it is tragic. We have cooperated fully with all investigating
authorities. If there are any additional details needed on this investigation, we will work swiftly to
assist. Our thoughts and our prayers continue to be with La’Melo’s family,” said Gulfport Police
Chief Chris Ryle.

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