A Mississippi police officer who responded to a shooting call on Sunday discovered upon arrival that the victim was her son.
As reported by local outlet WLBT, Hazlehurst police arrived at the crime scene around 2 a.m. on Sunday when they discovered the body of Charles Stewart Jr. laying in the road with a gunshot wound to the head. He was the 20-year-old son of Officer Laquandia Cooley.
“As we get out, I look and I was like, ‘This is my son, this is my son,’” Cooley told the outlet. “So, I literally just go into a break down you know? Like, why? Who would do this to my son? … I couldn’t even believe what I was seeing. I was seeing my own son laying there on the ground dead. It was pretty much a panic. It was just…it was too much.”
Charles Stewart, the victim’s father, told WLBT, “It’s traumatizing for the whole family. We’re just trying to cope day to day. Just trying to figure out why this happened and who could have done this.”
Hazlehurst Police Chief Darian Murray told the outlet the case will now be handled by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation. There are currently no suspects.
The crime comes days after a New Year’s Eve shooting in Gulfport, Mississippi left three dead and multiple injured. Police received a report of shots fired two minutes before the stroke of midnight on Dec. 31, and upon initial investigation learned that a fight at an outdoor party had escalated to someone drawing “an assault rifle.”
Gulfport Police Chief Chris Ryle said in a news conference it remained unclear what prompted the fight, and added that witnesses were not cooperating with police. “Somebody out there last night saw something with that many people,” he said. “When an assault rifle comes out, somebody knows who they are and we need them to come forward.”
Our prayers are with their family.
PHOTO: Charles Stewart, Jr., 20, was shot and killed Early Sunday morning in Hazlehurst. His mother, Officer Laquandia Cooley, would be the one to discover her son's body lying on Larkin Street. https://t.co/EPkLnA3EdA pic.twitter.com/HgQUhtPWNJ
— WLBT 3 On Your Side (@WLBT) January 4, 2022