MARKSVILLE, La. (Reuters) - Two Louisiana deputy marshals charged with killing a 6-year-old boy and injuring his father in a hail of gunfire will be required to surrender their service firearms and badges if they are able to post $1 million in bail ordered by a judge on Monday.
Judge William Bennett set bail for the deputy marshals, Derrick Stafford, 32, and Norris Greenhouse Jr., 23, during a closed hearing at the Avoyelles Parish Jail, hours before the boy’s family laid him to rest.
Jeremy Mardis, who was autistic, was buckled into the front passenger seat of his father Chris Few’s car last week when the two local marshals fired 18 times at the vehicle after chasing it in central Louisiana, state police said.
Police body camera footage appeared to show Few, 25, putting his hands in the air before the marshals started shooting, CBS News reported, citing an unnamed law enforcement source.
Stafford and Greenhouse, who were working for the Marksville city marshal, are charged with second-degree murder and attempted murder. The judge ordered them to be held under home confinement should they be released from jail, according to Avoyelles Parish Sheriff Doug Anderson, who announced the bail terms after the hearing.
Local authorities initially said the deputy marshals were trying to arrest Few on a warrant when he fled by car, prompting the pursuit.
But Colonel Michael Edmonson, superintendent of the Louisiana State Police, said there was no record of a warrant.
“That simply just wasn’t true,” he told CNN on Monday.
Edmonson said state police were trying to figure out why the officers chased Few’s car and what caused them to shoot. No firearms were found in Few’s vehicle, he said.
State police announced the charges against Stafford and Greenhouse on Friday after reviewing footage of the shooting captured on another officer’s body camera.
The footage has not been released, but Edmonson has called it the most disturbing thing he had seen.
Mardis “didn’t deserve to die like that,” Edmonson said.
A funeral for the boy was held Monday afternoon in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where his mother lives.
His father was listed in fair condition at a hospital in Alexandria, Louisiana, a spokeswoman said.
Stafford and Greenhouse have been placed on leave, along with two other officers present at the shooting.
Both men work part-time for the Marksville city marshal. Stafford is also a lieutenant with the Marksville Police Department, and Greenhouse serves as a reserve officer for that force.
Writing by Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Grant McCool and Jonathan Oatis