Palm Beach Gardens releases 911 call made by police officer in Corey Jones shooting

Officer Nouman Raja claims Jones 'kind of pointed gun at me'

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – The city of Palm Beach Gardens has released the 911 call made by former police Officer Nouman Raja after last year's fatal shooting of Corey Jones on the side of Interstate 95.

"Drop the (expletive) gun right now," Raja is heard saying in the background as he calls 911. 

"911…," the dispatcher began. 

"Yeah, I got one down. I actually shot one person. I'm at the off ramp right behind DoubleTree. Black male," Raja said.

Police said Jones was stranded on the side of an Interstate 95 exit ramp on Oct. 18, 2015, when he was approached by Raja, who was not in uniform and was driving an unmarked van.

Jones, who was a drummer in a reggae band, was leaving a performance in Jupiter early that morning when his SUV broke down.

A call Jones made to the AT&T roadside assistance center recorded the moment Jones was approached by Raja.

"Huh?" Jones said.

"You good?" Raja asked.

"I'm good," Jones replied.

"Really?" Raja asked.

"Yeah, I'm good," Jones said.

"Really?" Raja asked again.

"Yeah," Jones said.

"Get your (expletive) hands up," Raja said. "Get your (expletive) hands up."

"Hold on," Jones said.

"Get your (expletive) hands up," Raja repeated. "Drop…"

Raja fired three shots in rapid succession immediately after saying "drop," an arrest affidavit said. About 10 seconds after the third shot was fired, three more shots could be heard, the affidavit said.

"I got one down. I got one man down," Raja told the dispatcher. 

"OK, are you alright?" the dispatcher asked. 

"Yeah, man. I'm good, I'm good," he said.

"Drop the gun!" Raja yelled out again during the call. "(I'm) on the off-ramp. Get me some units. I've lost contact with him. I don't know where he is."

"Alright, you got it buddy," the dispatcher said.

The dispatcher then asked Raja where his police radio was.

"My radio is in the van right now. I don't have it with me. That's why I'm on the phone," Raja said.

Raja told the dispatcher that Jones had a silver handgun in his right hand.

"I came out. I saw him come out with a handgun. I gave him commands. I identified myself, and he kind of pointed the gun at me, started running and I shot him," Raja said. 

A woman who was staying at the DoubleTree also called 911 and told a dispatcher that she saw a white man holding a gun and walking backward. 

When police arrived, they searched for the gun that Raja claimed Jones was carrying and used K-9 officers to search the tall grass near the PGA Boulevard exit ramp. The gun was found about 74 feet from the back of Jones' SUV.

Jones was found about 192 feet from the back of his vehicle, the affidavit said. Paramedics arrived and pronounced him dead at 3:32 a.m.

Authorities said Raja used his personal gun to shoot Jones, because his department-issued gun was in its holster inside the van.

Three of the six shots that were fired struck Jones -- one in each arm and another to his chest, the affidavit said.

Raja was arrested June 1 on charges of manslaughter by culpable negligence and attempted first-degree murder with a firearm.

He has since been released on $250,000 bond. 

File: Nouman Raja Civil Lawsuit Filed By Corey Jones' Family

Meanwhile, Jones' family filed a civil lawsuit Wednesday against the city of Palm Beach Gardens and Raja.

The lawsuit  claims that the city was negligent and failed to properly train and discipline officers in the use of excessive force. It also claims that Raja "intentionally caused bodily harm" to Jones by using deadly force.

Jones' family seeks damages in excess of $15,000 and a jury trial.


About the Author:

Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for Local10.com.