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Man charged with murder of fallen Trooper

A man has been formally charged in the shooting death of State Trooper Kenneth “Josh” Smith. The Mississippi Department of Public Safety released a statement saying the department is deeply saddened by the loss of Trooper Smith.

“This past weekend was tragic for law enforcement and our state,” the release said.

Trooper Kenneth “Josh” Smith

Troy Anthony Eaton has been formally charged with one count of Capital Murder and one count of Attempted Murder in the Benton County Courthouse for the death of Trooper Smith and the shooting of Rickie Vale.

RELATED: Off-duty Trooper shot, killed

“On behalf of the Department of Public Safety, we offer our deepest condolences to the family during this difficult time,” said Commissioner Marshall Fisher.

Trooper Smith has served with the Mississippi Highway Patrol since 2007 and was an active member of the S.W.A.T. team.

“As Corporal Smith’s former training director, I watched Josh become a state trooper in 2007,” said Colonel Chris Gillard. “When he, as all Troopers do, took his oath of office he adopted a philosophy that the lives of others are more important than that of his own. Today, the Mississippi Highway Patrol family mourns the loss of one of our own, which is especially painful. It is also important to remember not how Josh died, but how he lived.”

The case is still under investigation by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation.

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