Photo via Corey Jones Facebook
Former Palm Beach Gardens Police Officer Nouman Raja
was found guilty Thursday morning for fatally shooting a stranded motorist named Corey Jones
as he tried to run away.
The Palm Beach Post
reports a jury found Raja guilty of manslaughter and attempted first-degree murder for the 2015 killing. The Miami New Times
says Raja is the first police officer in Florida since 1989 to be found guilty for killing someone while on duty.
Photo of Officer Nouman Raja, right.
Back in 2015, Jones, a 31-year-old beloved local musician, was outside his broken-down SUV on Interstate 95 trying to call for assistance when he was approached by Raja. The cop was in plainclothes and driving an unmarked police van while investigating burglaries in the area.
Raja initially lied to investigators, telling them he identified himself to Jones repeatedly and offered to help him before Jones pulled out a silver handgun and pointed it at him, forcing him to defend himself. But audio recordings from that night proved Raja never identified himself as a police officer to Jones, who was on the phone with a roadside assistance operator when Raja confronted him:
Corey Jones: "Huh?"
Nouman Raja: "You good?"
Jones: "I’m good."
Jones: "Yeah, I’m good."
Raja: "Get your (expletive) hands up! Get your (expletive) hands up!"
Jones: "Hold on!"
Raja: "Get your (expletive) hand up! Drop!"
Raja fired three shots, and after a 10-second pause, fired three more shots. Thirty-three seconds later, Raja used his cellphone to call 911 and acted as if he had not fired the last three shots yet.
reports Raja told investigators Jones threw a gun in the grass, which was found more than 100 feet away from his body. As Jones tried to run away, Raja continued firing at him, ultimately hitting Jones three times. Jones' gun was never fired, and in fact, had the safety on, according to the Post
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