PALM BEACH, FLORIDA — A Florida man was shot and killed by police early Sunday, adding to the mounting numbers of police-involved shootings since the death of Michael Brown in August 2014.
Just after 2 a.m. on Sunday, 31-year-old Corey Jones was driving home after a music performance at a bar when his car broke down on the off-ramp of Interstate 95, Jones’ bandmate, Matthew Huntsberger, told the Palm Beach Post.
Jones is the drummer of his band, Future Prezidents, and the choir at the Bible Church of God, according to Jones’ aunt, Serena Banks.
At 3:15 a.m., Nouman Raja, a plain-clothes police officer in an unmarked police vehicle stopped to investigate Jones’ car, thinking it was abandoned, according to police reports. Raja said he was confronted by Jones, whom he said was armed, prompting Raja to open fire and kill Jones.
Police also said Jones bought the gun three days before the incident, said the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department Police Chief Stephen Stepp. Jones’ family told the Palm Beach Post that Jones had a permit to carry the handgun.
“The assumption is that the guy didn’t know he was a cop,” the unnamed source told the Palm Beach Post. The source said the altercation might have been a misunderstanding. Raja was working in the area on burglary surveillance, the source said, when he confronted Jones, and the incident lasted just seconds.
There was no dash cam in Raja’s vehicle and the officer was not wearing a body camera. The investigation remains open and is being conducted by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, Stepp said in a press conference.
A protest is being organized for Thursday after the police failed to release more information more than a day after the shooting. Relatives of Jones are asking for peace, saying that he was nonviolent.