Kidnapped Baby Dies After Shootout Between Murder Suspect and Police: Officials

May 5, 2021 Updated: May 5, 2021

A baby who was kidnapped by his father died at a hospital on Tuesday, coming just hours after his father engaged in a gun battle with officers during a chase.

Harrison County, Mississippi Coroner Brian Switzer told local station WLOX that the infant died Tuesday at a hospital in Mobile, Alabama. The child was identified as La’Mello Parker.

The boy’s father, Eric Derell Smith, is accused of fatally shooting his ex-girlfriend and her nephew on Monday in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, officials said. Smith then fled with the infant and went east, authorities told WLOX.

The two victims were identified as Christin Parker, 32, and Brandon Parker, 26, by officials.

The injured baby was hospitalized after Smith allegedly opened fire at officers, who were forced to return fire, reports said. Smith died of multiple gunshot wounds along Interstate 10.

Switzer told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he had not yet seen the baby’s body and couldn’t say whether the boy had been shot. He told local media that an autopsy is scheduled.

“Despite the efforts of medical staff, the child passed away as a result of the injuries sustained. As stated, the investigation is ongoing at this time. Once a thorough investigation is completed the details will be released to the District Attorney’s Office for review,” Chris DeBack said a release from the Biloxi Police Department, reported WLOX.

Authorities told The Advocate and other news outlets that police and deputies attempted to deploy spike strips and used other techniques to try and stop Smith’s vehicle.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.