A 32-year-old Ohio man told his ex-girlfriend he was “looking to kill an officer” before ambushing and fatally shooting Danville Police Officer Thomas Cottrell late Sunday night, police said.
Herschel Jones III was arrested early Monday morning and is being held by the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, according to a statement.
The small village of Danville is located about 60 miles northeast of Columbus.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Jones’ Ex-Girlfriend Called Police to Warn Them They ‘Were In Danger’
Herschel Jones’ ex-girlfriend called Danville Police Sunday night telling them he had left her house “with weapons” and was planning to kill a police officer, the Associated Press reports.
Dispatchers in Danville put out an urgent call to officers, and Cottrell did not respond, sparking a frantic search. A bloody hat belonging to Cottrell was found near the Danville Municipal Building, police said.
About 30 minutes later, Cottrell was found dead behind the building, according to police.
2. He Stole Cottrell’s Cruiser & Gun, Police Say
Jones fled from the scene of the shooting in Cottrell’s cruiser, police told WJW-TV. He also took the officer’s gun, police said.
Police shut down several roads in Danville and put out a statewide alert at about midnight. Two hours later, Jones was seen by officers running from a home. He was taken into custody after a short foot chase, police said.
The shooting remains under investigation.
3. Cottrell Was 1 of 6 Police Officers on the Danville Force
Cottrell was one of just six police officers working for the Danville Police Department in a village of 1,044 people, according to the department’s website.
“We ask all Ohioans to pray for peace and healing for Officer Cottrell’s family, friends and co-workers,” said Jay McDonald, the president of the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police, in a statement. “His assassination is the latest reminder of how dangerous police work is and how the police are targeted for violence.”
4. Jones Has a Lengthy Criminal Record, Including Weapons & Drug Convictions
Jones has a lengthy criminal record, dating back to at least 2001, CBS News reports.
His record includes convictions for possession of chemicals for manufacture of drugs, breaking and entering, burglary, receiving stolen property and carrying a concealed weapon. He was arrested in October 2015 in Mount Vernon, Ohio, and charged with having weapons under a disability, felonious assault and attempted rape, but the charges were dropped in November and he was released from custody, the Mount Vernon News reported.
5. Cottrell Was the Second U.S. Police Officer Killed in the Line of Duty on Sunday
Officer Thomas Cottrell was the second police officer killed in the line of duty on Sunday. Utah Officer Doug Barney, of the Unified Police Department, was killed near Salt Lake City Sunday morning.
The suspect in that shooting, Cory Henderson, was killed by other officers. A second Unified officer was shot three times, but survived.
Barney was the first American police officer killed in the line of duty in 2016, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
Read more about that shooting at the link below: