D.A.’s Office: Nederland officer-involved fatal shooting investigation ruling important for community

Published 12:19 am Thursday, January 21, 2021

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

A Texas Rangers investigation into an officer-involved fatal shooting in Nederland was thorough, leading to a significant decision from a grand jury, according to the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office.

The grand jury ultimately ruled no action was necessary after hearing a review of the case details in December following the fatal shooting, which occurred Nov. 10 and involved Nederland Police Officer Tanner Thompson and Daron Jones, a 29-year-old Port Arthur resident killed in the altercation.

Cory Kneeland heads the D.A.’s Office intake division, which is where all of the criminal cases prosecuted by the office begin.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

He describes the Rangers as “second to none” and “the best” when it comes to these investigations.

“We put every witness statement, every video clip, everything you can think of (in the grand jury presentation),” Kneeland said. “They measured light bulb intensity. They did everything, and the grand jury gets to hear it all and reach their conclusions without influence from me. It’s not right for me to try and pressure them.

“In this case, they evaluated and reached the conclusion that the officer’s actions were not criminal, did not rise to a criminal act and chose to claim what they call a no action.”

The no action ruling, according to Kneeland, means everything was done by the book.

“That is important too, because it also gives confidence to the public that our officers are working hard and being watched,” he said. “People need to know that the police officers don’t just go crazy and people are keeping an eye on them. We can rest assured that that is happening.”

As far as the district attorney’s office is concerned, Kneeland said the case is closed and no further investigation is required.

Nederland Police Chief Gary Porter told Port Arthur Newsmedia last week that Thompson returned to active duty following the grand jury’s decision.

An initial Texas Ranger report 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 handgun.

The female gave dispatchers a description of the man with the gun, which was relayed to responding officers.

Soon after, Thompson — a uniformed Nederland police officer — observed a person matching the given description on Carriage Lane and told him to stop.

Authorities said the male, later identified Jones, refused and fled on foot.

After being told repeatedly to stop during his flight, Jones 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 was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced deceased.

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.