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Autistic Boy Shot Dead By Police In Controversial Altercation

Six-year-old Jeremy Mardis is an autistic boy who was shot dead by two Louisiana state marshals while in the front passenger seat of his father Chris Few's car last week. Lt. Derrick Stafford and Norris Greenhouse Jr. were arrested and charged with second-degree murder. Family and friends of Jeremy gathered at a funeral home in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, before a procession took him to a cemetery in Beaumont.

Few was absent from the funeral because he is recovering in the hospital. He has not yet been told his son his dead. The father's lawyer Mark Jeansonne said bodycam footage - which has not been made public - shows the father putting his hands in the air to surrender right before he and his son were shot.

Relatives were seen crying openly as they said their goodbyes to Jeremy. Anita Bonnette, an assistant principal at Lafargue Elementary School in Effie, where Jeremy was one of her students, said, "He was just a very sweet loving little boy who enjoyed being at school and enjoyed his friends."

Greenhouse Jr, 23, and Stafford, 32, were set at $1 million bail each. Police chief Col. Mike Edmonson on Friday said the footage was “the most disturbing thing I've seen. That video was incredible. I mean, as a father, much less head of the state police, I looked at that tape, I said this is incredibly disturbing.”

In a late night press conference, Edmonson said "Let's make tonight about Jeremy Mardis. That little boy was buckled in the front seat of that vehicle and that is how he died. He didn't deserve to die like that. The initial statement to my investigators was that the vehicle was backing up, they feared for their lives and they started firing."

Few's fiancee, Megan Dixon, said that she had argued with Few earlier in the evening. He then went to pick up his son from a relative's house. Later, Few pulled up next to Dixon at a red light to ask her to come home with him. She said no, stating she was "stubborn." That's when she saw two marshals' cars approaching them with their lights flashing.

Dixon said Few was pointing at his son's head, implying he was in the car and he didn't know what to do. She said Few was not comfortable because he had a previous conflict with one of the marshals. She went on to say “No, he didn't have a gun because I'm the reason why this all started. And I know what happened.”

Few's 57-year-old stepfather, Morris German, said the six-year-old had been diagnosed with autism, describing him as a delightful child who “loved everything, everybody.” It was revealed that the two police officers were moonlighting for a controversial local marshal agency run by school bus driver city marshal Floyd Voinche. Mayor John Lemoine said Voinche had recently begun overstepping his authority.

Jeremy was shot five times in the head and torso when his father was trying to drive out of a dead end. The parish coroner said officers were serving a warrant on Few, but Edmonson said he had no information on a warrant. Records show no outstanding warrants or ongoing criminal cases for Few.

Photo: CBS News

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