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The fatal shooting of a 6-year-old autistic boy in Louisiana by city marshals was under state police investigation Thursday, as questions swirled about what occurred during the nighttime car chase that left the boy dead and his father critically wounded.
Investigators had examined the scene of the incident that occurred in Marksville, Louisiana, at 9:30 p.m. CT on Tuesday for forensic and ballistic evidence and planned to talk to the four law enforcement officers involved, Col. Mike Edmonson, head of Louisiana State Police, said at a press conference Thursday.
The city marshals shot at a vehicle "at the conclusion of a pursuit," according to a statement by the police department Wednesday.
The driver of the vehicle, Chris Few, was shot and seriously wounded, while his son, 6-year-old Jeremy Davis Mardis, was killed.
Edmonson said investigators were waiting to analyze video footage of the scene, but he noted that there was "no exchange of gunfire" and no gun was found in Few’s SUV.
Investigators do not yet know how many shots were fired in total, he said.
The Avoyelles Parish coroner's office told NBC News that the boy was shot five times in the head and chest and pronounced dead at the scene.
Cathy Mardis, the victim's grandmother, told NBC News that Jeremy was autistic and he and his father had moved to Marksville in April. Mardis said she was planning to hold services for her grandson in Mississippi after his body has been released.
Jeremy was a "good boy" who was sweet and loved his father, she said.
Edmonson declined to give details on what started the pursuit and said he was planning on speaking with the four city marshals involved as early as Thursday evening.
"We want to find out what precipitated that that pursuit," he said.
Avoyelles Parish Coroner Dr. L.J. Mayeux told The Associated Press the marshals were chasing Few in his car after he fled an attempt to serve a warrant. Few reached a dead end and was backing up into the marshals when they opened fire on his vehicle, the coroner told the AP.
At Thursday’s press conference, Edmonson said he had no information about outstanding warrant being served.
"I am not aware of one, but have not been provided information otherwise," he said.
Three of the city marshal's work for the Marksville Police Department while the fourth works for the Alexandria City Marshal’s Office, Marksville Police Chief Elster Smith said.
Edmonson recommended that the officers be placed on administrative leave as a result of the investigation.
The next step was for investigators to speak to the marshals, witnesses and analyze footage of the scene.
"This is a tragedy," he said. "A 6-year-old boy died and we want to find out why that happened."