On Tuesday night, marshals trying to serve a warrant fired at a car that was attempting to flee, killing a 6-year-old boy riding in the vehicle with his father, Louisiana officials said Wednesday.
Avoyelles Parish coroner Dr. L.J. Mayeux identified the boy as first-grader Jeremy Mardis and his father as Chris Few, The Associated Press reports. Mayeux said marshals from the city of Marksville were trying to serve a warrant to Few when he took off, eventually ending up at a dead end. As he started to back up into the marshals, they fired, and Mardis was "caught in the line of fire," Mayeux said. "More likely than not they were shooting into the driver side, and he was on the passenger side. He was in the line of fire."
Mayeux said Mardis died from multiple gunshot wounds to the head and chest, and his father is in serious condition at a local hospital. He did not disclose the type of warrant marshals were trying to serve to Few; the mayor's office says that city marshals work for the city courts and serve warrants, carry firearms, and have police powers. Blaine Dauzat, the Avoyelles superintendent of schools, said Mardis lived with his father and grandmother in Marksville, having moved to the area in April, and attended Lafargue Elementary School in nearby Effie, where grief counselors were on hand Wednesday to talk with students and staff. "We are definitely all shaken up," he told AP. "It's been a tough day at work for all of us."