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Preliminary autopsy details wounds in fatal Nederland Police officer-involved shooting

NEDERLAND — Preliminary autopsy findings indicate the Port Arthur man killed last week by a Nederland Police Department officer during a late-night arrest attempt was shot at least four times.

The findings released Monday by Justice of the Peace Brad Burnett indicate 29-year-old Daron Jones died by homicide, which in this case is not a criminal charge, simply a determination of a cause of death.

The shooting led to officer Tanner Thompson being placed on administrative leave pending an investigation led by the Texas Rangers Division of the Texas Department of Public Safety.

The preliminary autopsy findings indicate four projectiles were recovered from Jones’ body and two projectiles were recovered during processing.

Jones suffered perforation of the trachea, spleen, lungs and thoracic spinal cord, as well as blunt force injuries to the head.

An electro-muscular disruption device probe was recovered from Jones’ right buttock, the autopsy detailed, indicating a Taser was used during the fatal altercation.

Burnett said the complete autopsy report would be complete within 60 days and also would indicate the entry points of the gunshots, which has yet to be determined.

The preliminary findings also indicate pending information is expected from a law enforcement report, video footage and scene photos.

An initial report from the Texas Rangers said at approximately 10 p.m. Nov. 10 a female in the 2200 block of Sixth Street in Port Neches called 9-1-1 to report a disturbance that involved a weapon. The female told call-takers a male, with whom she was in an argument, left the residence with a black 9mm handgun.

The preliminary Texas Rangers investigation indicated 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, the suspect displayed a weapon and was shot by the officer, Texas Rangers indicated, adding the Nederland police officer immediately began life-saving efforts as he awaited the arrival of an ambulance.

The suspect, Jones of Port Arthur, was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced deceased.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Team and Texas Highway Patrol assisted Texas Rangers at the scene.

Nederland Police Chief Gary Porter identified Thompson, 26, four-year department veteran, as the officer involved in the shooting.

Porter also told Port Arthur Newsmedia authorities were told the male suspect 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 suspect because of the report that he was armed.

This marks the first officer-involved shooting fatality in Nederland Police Department history, authorities said.

Port Neches Police Chief Paul Lemoine said police were looking for the man because he was possibly armed.

In addition, police had 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.

Thompson is expected to remain on administrative leave pending the completion of the investigation, Porter said.