Authorities ID Port Arthur man killed by Nederland Police officer Tuesday night
NEDERLAND – Authorities have identified the man killed Tuesday night by a Nederland Police Department officer following a foot chase.
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety Texas Rangers Division, 29-year-old Daron Jones of Port Arthur was shot and killed.
The Rangers, with the assistance of Nederland and Port Neches Police Departments and the District Attorney’s Office, are investigating an officer-involved shooting.
In a statement released Wednesday night, the Rangers said a female in the 2200 block of 6th Street in Port Neches called 9-1-1 to report a disturbance that involved a weapon. The female told call-takers the male, with whom she was in an argument, left the residence with a black 9mm handgun.
The preliminary investigation indicates the female gave 9-1-1 dispatchers a description of the suspect, which was relayed to responding officers. Soon after, a uniformed Nederland police officer observed a person matching the given description on Carriage Lane and told him to stop. The male refused, and he fled on foot.
After being told repeatedly to stop during his flight, authorities said Jones displayed a weapon and was shot by the officer. The Nederland police officer immediately began life-saving efforts as he awaited the arrival of an ambulance.
Jones was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced deceased.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Team and the Texas Highway Patrol were also assisting the Texas Rangers at the crime scene.
Nederland Police Chief Gary Porter identified the officer as Tanner Thompson, 26, who has been on the police force for four years. He has been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation.
Nederland Mayor Don Albanese said he spoke with the police chief on the matter, adding it is unfortunate that incidents like this occur but when it does happen there are professional people such as the police department. If everything is handled by the book, it goes well, Albanese added.
Porter told Port Arthur Newsmedia authorizes were told the male suspect had fired a shot at the residence in Port Neches during the disturbance.
The Sixth Street residence where the disturbance was reported in Port Neches is two blocks outside of Nederland city limits.
Porter said the chase and shooting was a one-on-one encounter, though officers from Nederland and Port Neches were all over the area searching for the male because of the report that he was armed.
The officer did deploy a Taser at the male, though it was either ineffective or he missed, Porter said.
As to when deadly force is justified, Porter said: “A reasonable officer in a similar situation would have to believe he was in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death.”
But reasonable doesn’t always mean necessary, he added.
This marks the first officer-involved shooting fatality in Nederland Police Department history, as far as Porter knows.
Details of the interaction leading up to the shooting are not known at this time, he said.
Body cam footage has been turned over to the Texas Rangers.
Authorities have not said if the victim fired at police.
Porter is ready to deal with facts, not opinion.
“It would be unethical to interject my opinion while the Texas Rangers and the D.A.’s office are investigating this,” he said.
Port Neches Police Chief Paul Lemoine said police were looking for the man following a disturbance because he was possibly armed.
In addition, police had previously gone to calls at the Sixth Street home in the past, but Lemoine did not know how many calls or what they were in reference to.
Jefferson County Precinct 7 Justice of the Peace Brad Burnett was called to the scene and declared the male deceased. An autopsy is expected to be complete by Thursday.
The goal of an autopsy is to determine the cause of death and has a hand in ruling on the manner of death.
Burnett confirmed the male died of a gunshot wound but could not say how many times he was shot due to the male wearing dark clothing, the way the body was positioned and the darkness of night when Burnett arrived.
Burnett could also not confirm where the victim was shot.
Officer Thompson will remain on administrative leave pending the completion of the investigation, Porter said.
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