Officer responding to shooting discovers victim is her son

“I couldn’t even believe what I was seeing,” said Officer Laquandia Cooley

By Suzie Ziegler 

HAZLEHURST, Miss. — On Sunday, Mississippi police officer Laquandia Cooley endured the unthinkable: her own son became a victim of homicide. More horrific still, she was the responding officer. 

“I look and I was like, ‘This is my son, this is my son.’ So, I literally just go into a break down,” Cooley told WLBT. “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.” 

Cooley’s son, 20-year-old Charles Stewart, Jr., had been shot in the head, according to WLBT. 

The young man’s father, Charles Stewart, was in disbelief when he learned of the shooting. The elder Stewart said his son was a good person who got along with everyone. 

“It’s traumatizing for the whole family,” he said. “We’re just trying to cope day to day. Just trying to figure out why this happened and who could have done this.” 

Few details about the incident were released. Because the case involves an officer’s family member, Hazlehurst Police Chief Darian Murray said the case will be handed over to the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation.


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