Cop Charged With Murder in Death of Florida Musician

Corey Jones was waiting with his broken-down car when he was shot
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 1, 2016 6:44 PM CDT
Cop Charged With Murder in Death of Florida Musician
Attendees rally in support of Corey Jones last October in Florida. On Wednesday, the police officer who shot him was arrested on murder and manslaughter charges.   (AP Photo/Joe Skipper)

A Florida police officer was arrested on manslaughter and murder charges Wednesday in the October shooting death of a musician whose car had broken down on the highway, ABC News reports. A grand jury found Palm Beach Gardens police officer Nouman Raja's shooting of 31-year-old Corey Jones wasn't justified. Jones' car broke down on the side of the highway in the early hours of Oct. 18. Neither his bandmate nor a mechanic could get it started, but Jones—who played in a local reggae band as well as for his church—didn't want to leave his drum set behind, according to the Sun Sentinel. The Palm Beach Post reports Jones was on the phone with AT&T roadside assistance around 3:15am when Raja arrived.

Raja, who was on duty but not in uniform, was driving an unmarked white van. Investigators say he never identified himself as a police officer. What happened next was recorded on Jones' roadside assistance call. Raja asks Jones if he's "good" multiple times. Jones says he is. Then Raja tells Jones to put his "f---ing hands up" three times. At one point, Jones tells Raja to "hold on." Within two seconds following his final command, Raja fired three shots at Jones. He fired another three 10 seconds later. Jones had a gun on him—and was licensed to carry it—but investigators determined he was running away from Raja when he was shot. His gun was found 120 feet from his body. “The intent of discharging his firearm was to kill Corey Jones," the Sun Sentinel quotes the investigation as stating. Raja was fired from the police department and now faces life in prison. (More police shooting stories.)

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