A plainclothes cop who shot to death a beloved local musician has been fired from Florida’s Palm Beach Gardens Police Department, the city announced Thursday in a statement.
Officer Nouman Raja fired six rounds at drummer Corey Jones, who was waiting for a tow truck by the side of a highway, authorities said. Jones, 31, was struck three times.
“The City of Palm Beach Gardens has been cautiously and methodically considering the status of Officer Nouman Raja. Therefore, Officer Raja, a probationary employee with the city, has been terminated from employment effective Wednesday, November 11 at 5:00 PM,” the statement said.
Jones, who was armed, had permits to carry a weapon, authorities said.
A message left by INSIDE EDITION with the police department was not immediately returned.
Jones’ family issued a statement saying: “While we are pleased that the city of Palm Beach Gardens has terminated the employment of the officer who gunned down Corey Jones, we maintain that the officer in question also must be held criminally liable for his reckless actions that night.”
Raja had been on administrative leave since the Oct. 18 shooting.
Palm Beach Gardens Police Chief Stephen Stepp said Jones suddenly confronted Raja and the undercover officer fired his weapon.
Jones did not fire his handgun, attorneys for the family said.
The confrontation occurred at about 3:15 a.m. on the side of Interstate 95, authorities said. Jones was returning from a late-night gig when his vehicle broke down, his family said.
The drummer was a popular draw at local venues and played in a church band, family members said.
Jones called for roadside assistant, and summoned a friend for help, his family said. The friend was unable to help start the SUV, and left while Jones was waiting for a tow truck.
Raja, who had been working a string of burglaries, stopped to check out what he thought was an abandoned vehicle, police said.
The officer was in an unmarked van. Jones’ family maintains he never showed his badge.
Raja was not wearing a body camera and his vehicle did not have a dash cam, police said.
A criminal investigation of the encounter is under way.