Two people were shot and killed at a home near Baker on Monday morning, and the man suspected of killing them died in a shootout after leading police on a chase in Mississippi, police said.
The suspect's infant child, with whom he had fled the Baker shooting, was taken to a Biloxi-area hospital after the pursuit.
Eric Derell Smith, 30, killed his ex-girlfriend, Christin Parker, 32, and her nephew, Brandon Parker, 26, Monday morning, the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office said. He then took off with the child.
Deputies said the shootings likely stemmed from a domestic incident. The agency said deputies responded to a 911 hang-up call about 11:30 a.m. in the 2000 block of Richmond Street, just off Plank Road northwest of Baker.
Police in Mississippi found Smith's car that afternoon and pursued him on Interstate 10. Traffic cameras showed Smith leading officers on a low-speed chase through I-10's interchange with U.S. 49 north of Gulfport on Monday afternoon. The pursuit ended seven miles later, near the Woolmarket exit.
Smith tried to drive across the median but his car got stuck, Biloxi Police Chief John Miller said. Smith and police officers then got into a shootout in which Smith was killed; Miller said he didn't know whether officers killed Smith or he killed himself.
Television station WLOX in Biloxi reported Smith was holding his 4-month-old child while firing a gun at police while being chased. It also said the child was in stable condition at Merit Hospital in Biloxi.
Parker’s house is painted a peaceful shade of light green. On Monday, children’s tennis shoes could be seen on the front porch, and a child’s bike lay on the grass. In front of the house, trash cans had been brought out to the street for pickup.
A few houses down, Parker’s neighbor, Monica Lee, said, “My kids were over there playing with them all the time.”
Lee said Parker had five children. She went to their school on Monday and checked them out early after the news broke.
“They’re struggling,” Lee said. “I have five children as well. That’s why it hits hard.”
Smith was arrested in March of 2017 for simple battery, a misdemeanor charge, after an altercation at Jack in the Box on Sullivan Road, according to online court records. Smith, who worked at the restaurant, allegedly threw a plastic cup at his manager, which shattered and gave the manager a minor cut on one of his fingers.
Smith then punched the manager twice in the face and fled the scene before police arrived, according to the records.
Smith eventually made a $3,000 bail and was released. The court records did not show how or if the case was resolved.