(PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla.) — Authorities are investigating after a plainclothes officer fatally shot a church musician — who police say was armed — on the side of the road in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, early Sunday.
Corey Jones, 31, a drummer in the area, was stranded on Interstate 95 due to car issues, his family members reportedly said.
The Palm Beach Gardens police said in a statement that Officer Nouman Raja, who was driving an unmarked car, had stopped to “investigate what he believed to be an abandoned vehicle” around 3:15 a.m. on Sunday.
“As the officer exited his vehicle, he was suddenly confronted by an armed subject,” the police statement read. “As a result of the confrontation, the officer discharged his firearm resulting in the death of the subject, Corey Jones.”
The police did not specify the type of weapon Jones allegedly had. It was not clear if any weapon was recovered or if the officer identified himself.
The officer is on paid administrative leave while the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office conducts an independent investigation, the Palm Beach Gardens police said in the statement.
The Rev. Chiquita Rolle Jones of the Bible Church of God in Boynton Beach told ABC News that Jones once played for their ministry.
“He was a soft-spoken individual who was looked up to by other inspiring drummers,” she said. “He had a passion for playing the drums as well as for people. Corey’s smile and his presence said it all about him. He was a humble and kind-hearted young man. Corey will be missed.”
Jones’ grandfather, Bishop Sylvester Banks, and other family members work at the church, according to the Palm Beach Post.
Some of those who knew Jones took to social media to defend him.
The police killed a friend of mine this morning. Before they tell you he was a thug, he played drums in church every single Sunday.
— Benjamin Dixon (@TheBpDShow) October 19, 2015
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