Louisiana's top state police official told NBC News on Sunday that it is still unclear why two city marshals chased an SUV last week and opened fire on it, allegedly killing a 6-year-old autistic boy and seriously wounding his father.
Jeremy Mardis, who was buckled in to the SUV's front seat, was pronounced dead after being struck by five bullets Tuesday night in Marksville, Louisiana; he is scheduled to be buried Monday in the city cemetery in Beaumont, Mississippi. Mardis' father, Chris Few, remains hospitalized and in serious condition.
See photos of Jeremy and the officers involved:
Shooting death of 6-year-old autistic boy Jeremy Mardis
Questions swirl around fatal shooting of Louisiana boy
6-year-old Jeremy Mardis in an undated photo. (Photo via KPLC)
In this photo combination shows booking photos provided by the Louisiana State Police, Marksville City Marshal Derrick Stafford, left, and Marksville City Marshal Norris Greenhouse Jr., both were arrested on charges of second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Jeremy Mardis, a six-year-old autistic boy, on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015 in Marksville, La. The shooting also wounded Mardis' father, Chris Few. (Louisiana State Police via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
This Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015 image shows orange paint marking the spot where a 6-year-old boy was shot and killed Tuesday night by Ward 2 city marshals in Marksville, La. The marshals had been chasing a vehicle driven by the boy’s father, Chris Few. He was shot in the head, but survived. He later was taken to Rapides Regional Medical Center in Alexandria for surgery. The boy, Jeremy David Mardis, died at the scene after suffering multiple gunshot wounds to the head and torso. (Melissa Gregory/The Daily Town Talk via AP)
“Disturbing” camera footage helped build case against 2 officers in shooting death of 6-year-old boy, official says. https://t.co/tLyAXvaCHv
"He loved giving hugs and kisses."
New tonight: our latest on the life and tragic death of 6-year-old Jeremy Mardis https://t.co/eyzzaY1bVT
Glad the 2 officers who killed #JeremyMardis are going to be held accountable & justice will be served. Why not the same for #TamirRice?
Jeremy Mardis is youngest person killed by police in the U.S. this year. He was 6. Yes, you read that right. 6. https://t.co/K1K5Jg0KUR
HE HAS A NAME: Jeremy Mardis (age 6) killed after police shot his dad’s car as he fled cops trying to issue warrant https://t.co/WO6KElAYOa
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"We've got to find out what caused those officers to effect that pursuit, to effect that traffic stop, and what caused them to fire their weapons," Col. Michael Edmonson, the state police superintendent, told NBC News.
The marshals — Derrick Stafford, 32, and Norris Greenhouse Jr., 23 — were charged Friday with second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder. Stafford is a lieutenant with the Marksville police; Greenhouse is a full-time marshal in the nearby city of Alexandria. Both are being held without bail.
A source close to Few told NBC News that before the encounter with authorities, Few had an argument outside a local pool hall, TJ's Lounge, with his girlfriend. After leaving, Few picked up his son from a babysitter's house.
Shortly after, the chase began, although it remains unclear why the marshals, who are tasked with serving warrants, pursued Few. State police said that there are no warrants for his arrest.
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Shootings by police, police brutality
Questions swirl around fatal shooting of Louisiana boy
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Initial reports said Few backed into a marshal's vehicle, although only minor damage on that car is visible. No weapons were found in Few's SUV, and no shots were reported before the marshals opened fire.
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Edmonson has described body camera footage that captured the encounter as "one of the most disturbing things I've witnessed."
Earlier this year, Stafford and Greenhouse — along with several other Marksville officers — were accused in a civil lawsuit filed in federal district court of using excessive force during a Libertarian event July 4, 2014, in downtown Marksville.
Ian Fridge, who filed the lawsuit, said that after he arrived at the event with a firearm, which he believed he was allowed to publicly display, the officers Tasered him and charged him with resisting arrest, battery on an officer and other crimes — despite his being "completely compliant," the lawsuit says.
In an affidavit included in the lawsuit, Stafford says that Fridge was not allowed to carry a firearm in areas where alcohol was sold and that officers "were in fear" that he would "draw" his gun.
At one point, according to the affidavit, Stafford asked Fridge "why did he put the small children and public at risk the way he did, and the subject just laughed."
WATCH: Shooting that claimed young boy's life may be on tape: