A law firm representing the family of a Florida man shot and killed by police last weekend said during a news conference Thursday a Palm Beach Gardens police officer fired six shots, striking Corey Jones three times, while Jones never fired his weapon.
Attorney Benjamin Crump addressed the media outside the Palm Beach County Courthouse on Thursday. The state attorney met privately with Crump, the family and other lawyers to discuss details of the shooting that killed Jones early Sunday along Interstate 95 in nearby Palm Beach Gardens.
"The only thing that remains unanswered is why this plainclothes cop in an unmarked van would have this encounter with Corey, who was waiting on the tow truck, and he ends up dead with three bullets in his body," Crump told reporters Thursday.
Jones, a black man and drummer in a local band, was returning home from a gig when his car broke down. Police said Officer Nouman Raja had been investigating a string of burglaries in the area when he spotted what he thought was Jones' abandoned vehicle.
Chief Stephen Stepp has said Raja was "suddenly confronted by an armed subject," and fatally shot Jones.
A spokesman for lawyers representing Jones' family said the state attorney's office told them Jones never fired a shot during the fatal confrontation. Marcelin said the family was told "Mr. Jones did not fire any shots" from his gun, which was found at the scene alongside Interstate 95.
In addition, the officer never displayed his badge to Jones during the Oct. 18 encounter, lawyers said they were told by Florida State Attorney Dave Aronberg, NBC News reported. It's unclear what caused the confrontation.
"We now know that he never had a badge before he shot Corey Jones that night, Corey never saw a badge, so there's serious questions about plainclothes police officers and their interaction with the public," attorney Darryl Parks said.
Later Thursday, Jones' family attended a rally in Palm Beach Gardens.
"We have a right to be anywhere, a young man with a disabled car on the side of the road, what is he supposed to do? Run in the bushes to hide? This man had no reason to come to him and cause his death, so we are very upset," rally attendee Edith Bush said.