UPDATED: Allen County Prosecutor announces decision in Fort Wayne Police shooting of suspect who later died

Allen County Prosecutor Karen Richards discusses her reasons for finding the shooting death of Jeffery D. Jones as justified by a Fort Wayne Police officer. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of The News-Sentinel)
Jeffery D. Jones, who was shot during a fight with Fort Wayne Police in November, later died. Police were justified in shooting him, according to Allen County Prosecutor Karen Richards. (Photo courtesy of the Allen County Sheriff's Department)

He threw one Fort Wayne Police officer so hard that it left an outline of the officer’s body in the drywall, and he put another in a headlock and punched him several times before he was shot by a third officer as he tried to get her gun.

Allen County Prosecutor Karen Richards gave those details of investigations into the shooting of Jeffery D. Jones, 53, of Fort Wayne, which took place at 4:30 p.m. Oct. 27 in the 3100 block of Elmdale Drive.

Richards, during a news conference Friday afternoon at her office, called it a clear case of a justified police shooting.

Jones, who had a history of being bipolar, died a few weeks later after a “medical emergency” at the Allen County Jail. The Allen County Coroner’s Office has yet to release his cause of death — whether it was a complication from the shooting or an unrelated event — as toxicology tests are being processed, but Richards said that is irrelevant to what transpired among Jones and the three officers.

According to Richards, the following occurred:

Police had been called to Jones’ home after a woman notified police from another location that he was armed with two handguns and had pointed one at her and threatened to kill her. Jones came to the door and appeared to be congenial as he chatted with the officers. Because officers were told he was armed, they asked to pat him down.

“Things deteriorated incredibly at that point,” she said.

Jones attacked the officers.

“The level of violence they encountered was not what they expected,” Richards said.

Because officers are trained to use nonlethal force, they tased him.

“It had positively no effect on him,” she said.

He threw two of the officers outside onto the concrete, and one of the three officers was unconscious for a time. He tried to take Officer Sage A. Knopp’s gun and, fearing for all the officers’ lives, she shot Jones in the abdomen, but he continued to try to get her weapon and at one point pulled the trigger, though it jammed, Richards said. Another officer got ahold of him, and Jones was taken into custody.

Jones was taken to a local hospital in serious condition, where he remained until he was released to the Allen County Jail. He was being held on several felony charges related to the incident, including battery against a public safety official and criminal recklessness committed with a deadly weapon.

At 9:30 a.m. Nov. 15, Jones was having a medical emergency and was admitted to a local hospital, where he died at 3:16 a.m. Nov. 16, according to the coroner’s office.

The case was investigated by the Allen County Sheriff’s Office, which oversees the jail; Fort Wayne Police; the Allen County Prosecutor’s Office; and the coroner’s office.

As a matter of protocol, the Indiana State Police conducted a parallel investigation into the shooting.

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