A police officer is dead and one suspect is in custody after an early Monday shooting in Danville, Ohio. Authorities say Danville Officer Thomas Cottrell was killed in the line of duty when a suspect set out “to kill an officer.” Cottrell’s body was later located after Herschel Jones III allegedly stole his vehicle after shooting Cottrell. This incident arrives one day after the first officer fatality of the year during a fugitive pursuit in Utah.
Around 11:30 on Sunday evening, dispatchers received a 911 call from a woman warning that the officers of Danville were in peril. The woman relayed that her ex-boyfriend, Herschel Ray Jones, had left home “with weapons” and murderous intent. Dispatchers attempted to warn all officers, but Cottrell never received the message. Knox County Sheriff’s deputies located his body behind a municipal building with both service weapon and police cruiser missing. Cottrell’s fellow officers and sheriff’s deputies then took Jones into custody after a short, on-foot pursuit.
Danville’s small police force contains only seven officers, and Cottrell will be remembered during funeral services this week. Chief Gilbert of the nearby Franklin Sheriff’s office paid tribute to Ohio’s first fallen officer of 2016.