Nearly a year after two city marshals in Marksville, Louisiana fired on a car they’d been pursuing, killing an autistic 6-year-old boy inside and wounding his father, police body-cam footage of the shooting has been released.
The shooting took place last November after police pursued Christopher Few following an argument he had with his girlfriend. Few’s son Jeremy Mardis was sitting in the back of the car. The 14-minute video doesn’t show the full pursuit; instead, it begins as a squad car pulls up and joins several others that have surrounded Few’s seemingly stationary vehicle.
Two deputy marshals, Derrick Stafford and Norris Greenhouse Jr., opened fire on Few’s car. They later contended that Few had been driving recklessly and rammed their patrol car, putting their lives in danger. They also initially contended there was an outstanding warrant for Few, which investigators said wasn’t true.
Warning: Video contains graphic footage
In the video, which the head of the Louisiana State Police described as the “most disturbing thing” he had ever seen, officers call an ambulance and report the officer-involved shooting. As police approach the vehicle, Few can be seen bleeding and slumped over the side of the white vehicle.
One officer shines his flashlight into the backseat and sees the child’s body. “Fuck,” the officer says loudly, and then whispers, “there’s a kid.”
Few tries to get out of the car, then collapses to the ground, still bleeding. One officer reports the incident over the phone. “The officer didn’t get shot, but some subjects did,” he says.
When an ambulance arrives, responders take Few away on a stretcher and say that they’ll be meeting a helicopter for transportation to a hospital.
“For the juvenile?” one officer asks.
“The juvenile is deceased,” an EMT replies.
Stafford and Greenhouse were arrested and charged with second-degree murder and second-degree attempted murder. Both men were indicted in December and released on bond.
Their trial started on Wednesday, and the body camera footage was unsealed and presented by prosecutors in court as they argued that Stafford had a pattern of excessive force, according to the Associated Press.
Lawyers representing Stafford and Greenhouse contended that the officers had acted in self defense, and that Few had been recklessly driving during the chase and rammed one of the police vehicles. According to defense attorney Christopher LaCour, “Christopher Few was a suspect before they knew that child was in the car.”