Thirty-one year old Corey Jones had just left a gig with his band, Future Prezidents, when his car broke down on the side of Interstate 95 in West Palm Beach, Florida. As he’s waiting for a tow truck, a police officer in an unmarked car and plain clothes, shoots and kills him.
Jones had called his band mate Mathew Huntsberger to tell him about his situation. Huntsberger brought him some oil for his SUV but realized that wasn’t the problem. Huntsberger says that Jones called roadside assistance and left Jones as he waited for a tow truck around 2:30am.
At 3:15am, officer Nouman Raja approached the car in an unmarked car and in plain clothes. Police say that he stopped to check out what he thought was an abandoned vehicle. In a statement The Palm Beach Gardens Police Department released on Monday, Police Chief Stephen Stepp said,
As the officer exited his vehicle, he was suddenly confronted by an armed subject. As a result of the confrontation, the officer discharged his firearm, resulting in the death of the subject.
Details of what exactly happened during the time Jones was confronted by Raja remain insufficient. It’s unclear if Raja identified himself as a police officer when approaching the vehicle, if he was carrying his badge, what the conversation was when he approached Jones and how many shots Raja fired at Jones. The vehicle Raja was driving was not supplied with a dash camera and Palm Beach Gardens Police Department officers don’t wear body cameras.
Stepp did confirm that Jones was carrying a legal handgun, which was found outside of the vehicle, and that the gun’s box and paperwork from its purchase just three days prior were located inside of the vehicle.
Huntsberger said despite the authorities claim, he doesn’t think that’s how things played out.
They’re saying he was armed, but I don’t know if I believe it. Of course they’re going to say that. If I was there, maybe it’s a different situation. I just don’t know what happened.
Police are still investigating the incident in hopes to find out what exactly happened.