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Partner Fired At Suspect Who Killed Miss. Detective

April 16, 2013  | 

Photo courtesy of Jackson PD.
Photo courtesy of Jackson PD.

The partner of a Jackson (Miss.) Police detective fired a round at the murder suspect who killed Detective Eric Smith in a third-floor interrogation room earlier this month.

Det. Pat Wilder fired at Jeremy Powell, while the 23-year-old man wrested Smith's service weapon away from him. Investigators have not located the round. After firing a round, Wilder accidentally released the magazine of her Glock 17 9mm pistol and then ran for help. The two detectives had confronted Powell with evidence that tied him to a murder, reports the Jackson Clarion-Ledger.

Because the shooting occurred at 5:40 p.m. April 4, the station was sparsely staffed and Wilder didn't locate help right away. She eventually found help on the first floor. She returned to find Smith and Powell fatally shot.

Chief Rebecca Coleman and Assistant Chief Lee Vance told the media Monday that investigators consider the murder-suicide a suicide by cop. The shooting was captured by the agency's video surveillance system.

Tags: Jackson (Miss.) PD, Detectives, Interrogation, Weapon Retention, Suicide by Cop


Comments (11)

Displaying 1 - 11 of 11

M.Conner @ 4/16/2013 3:34 PM

God Bless the detective for attempting to save her partner. The article could have left out the part about accidentally releasing the magazine. I am sure the officer did her best.

Paul @ 4/16/2013 4:19 PM

Really ?!?! Did her best ?!?! You have got to be kidding... ok lets say her "best" in the heat of the moment was to release the mag... why not put it back in and re-engage? Or....... jump in the fight and help her partner instead of running ???? Holy Crap...... I bet she feels bad !!! She did nothing to help and ran like a coward. Lets only hope she quits on her own. I'm sure she will get her PTSD retirement. She will do much better as a clerk at the local grocery...

Eric @ 4/16/2013 5:54 PM

M. Conner, I am curious. Are you a LEO? From your comment I get the impression you are not. Paul is correct, in this type of situtation when another office and a suspect are struggling over a gun, you don't run away. You stay in the fight and do whatever it takes. Some people just weren't meant to be a cop and Det. Wilder, given the facts are correct, sounds like one of those persons. Too bad it took the loss of another officers life to find out. I doubt that anyone will ever agree to partner with her again.

Bernie @ 4/16/2013 6:28 PM

I know Det Wilder meant well. She did start to engage. She made a mistake and release the mag. In the heat of the moment we make mistakes. Heck, I make mistakes without it being a life and death struggle. But..... put the mag back in, hit him in the head with the gun, bite his nose off, scratch his eyes out. Better yet - all of those. Whatever it takes. This is a deadly force encounter and there is no excuse for leaving the room until the perp or you or both are dead.

Digger Dog @ 4/16/2013 8:11 PM

She returned to find Smith and Powell fatally shot.

I take that to mean that her partner was alive when she left the room.

She left the room and allowed her partner to be executed by a POS. No freaking excuse, you fight until you can't fight anymore and then you fight some more. You never, ever leave your partner in a fight to the death.

Not to sound cold, and not to slam anyone, but tell Eric Smith's family that Wilder meant well.

Paul @ 4/16/2013 8:14 PM

Another thing thats bothering me about this story. With limited facts of course the story says "Investigators have not located the round". Lets see, One detective dead with how many gunshot wounds ? How many rounds fired from this detectives gun ? Suicide usually takes one round!!?? Her round is not found in a wall or furniture ?? I hazard to guess that her round is in a place nobody wants to talk about .......

Czar James @ 4/17/2013 5:15 AM

NEVER... EVER... EVER... EVER... Stop fighting. EVER. And don't you dare leave your partner. PERIOD. If you can't do this. If you can't face this reality. GET OUT. This life is not some crap detective TV program.

Sky @ 4/17/2013 7:02 AM

Really....you accidently eject your magazine after firing one round at someone who has or is attempting to take an Detectives weapon and run out of the room looking for help. You WERE the help...sometimes that's all there is at the time. Two officers against one suspect and there may be no time to get on the radio to call for more help. You could've put a finger in the bad guys eye, bit his ear or nose off, grabbed his testicles. Anything to win the fight and survive. I doubt Detective Smith was thinking another Detective who was present was going to run out of the room and leave him alone. He probably thought he had help. Attack my opinion if you want, but if I was the family of Detective Smith, I would not have allowed you at my funeral if I knew you left my husband, father, brother or relative alone when maybe he would be alive if you had not left him. She is definately not one "to ride the river with". RIP Brother Smith. Condolances to his family and all his relations.

Joe T @ 4/17/2013 10:40 AM

You have to wonder if they bothered to check which gun fired the fatal shot into the detective....she does need to be in a different line of work.

John @ 4/17/2013 7:40 PM

The first key word: "she." Then, why in the hell would she leave her partner rather than joining in the fight to subdue and/or neutralize the suspect? Sounds like she's in the wrong line of work.

Kevin M @ 4/22/2013 11:44 AM

They should charge her with killing her partner.

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