LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Police shot and killed the son of one of the Little Rock Nine, the group of blacks who integrated the city's schools in 1957.
Police said they were called after neighbors saw Erin Eckford, 26, firing an assault rifle into the air Wednesday night. Police shot him with a bean bag round, then opened fire after he pointed the rifle at them, authorities said. He was struck six times, police spokesman Sgt. Terry Hastings said Thursday.
The three officers involved were placed on leave with pay, the standard procedure, while the shooting is investigated.
Hastings said Eckford had a history of mental problems. "We're looking for friends and family to see what happened that day to set him off," the spokesman said.
Eckford, a student at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, was the son of Elizabeth Eckford. She was among the students who broke the color barrier at Central High School in 1957.