In the first seven days of June, three law enforcement officers have lost their lives. Officers Verdell Smith and Natasha Hunter and Sergeant Derrick Mingo died in Louisiana and Tennessee.
The three officers died while serving or aiding on patrol.
According to multiple sources, Mingo served with the Louisiana Winnsboro Police Department for five years. He was killed in a single-vehicle crash on June 4. He was headed to assist a Franklin Parish deputy, who was in a vehicle pursuit with a drunk driver. Mingo was not wearing his seatbelt and suffered fatal injuries when his car left the road and hit a tree.
According to the Officer Down memorial page, New Orleans Police Officer Hunter died from injuries sustained on June 7. Hunter was blocking traffic on Interstate 10 for another officer who was conducting an accident investigation when a drunk driver reportedly struck her police cruiser from behind. She died two days later. The officer served with the New Orleans Police Department for 11 years.
The Officer Down page said Smith, of the Memphis Police Department in Tennessee, was struck and killed by a vehicle.
A man was seen talking to himself loudly outside of a restaurant, where he then shot two customers. After citizens chased the man on foot, he shot an employee of a sporting goods store nearby and fled in a car. Officers were led on a vehicle pursuit where the suspect started driving the wrong way in an area where a street festival was happening. The street had been closed, but the man managed to crash through the barriers and struck Smith.
Officer Smith was a U.S. Navy veteran who had served with the MPD for 18 years.