Five minutes before he was shot and killed by a plainclothes Palm Beach Gardens police officer, Corey Jones made one final call on his cell phone, dialing #HELP for AT&T roadside assistance.
The call lasted for 53 minutes, according to call log records obtained by the Palm Beach Post.
And there’s a good chance the call was recorded, which would shed light into what actually took place in the early morning of October 18 when he was confronted by officer Nouman Raja, a cop with a history of disciplinary problems.
But as of now, the Palm Beach State Attorney’s Office is refusing to comment whether or not it had obtained any recordings. And AT&T is also not commenting.
And Jones’ phone has not yet been returned to the family.
The first indication of car trouble came at 1:35 a.m., when he called band mate Mathew Huntsberger for help.
Nine minutes later, he called *FHP, the Florida Highway Patrol’s main line. The records indicate that the call lasted four minutes, but an FHP spokesman wasn’t able to obtain the content of the call late Monday.
Starting at 2:09 a.m., Jones called the AT&T #HELP four times, spending about 36 minutes trying to get help.
Those calls were probably fruitless, however, since he called #HELP again, at 2:45 a.m., a call that the log says lasted 32 minutes, even though he dialed three other numbers after that call began.
The final call went to the help line at 3:10 a.m. and records show it wouldn’t have ended until 4:03 a.m., long after the 3:15 a.m. shooting.
It was the last call Jones would make.
Jones’ car broke down on Interstate 95 after the South Florida drummer was driving home from a gig. He pulled his SUV off to the side of an exit ramp and began making his calls.
The 31-year-old man, who had a concealed weapons permit, was also armed.
Raja was working at a nearby hotel, sitting in an unmarked van, keeping an eye out for potential car thieves. He was not supposed to leave his post at the Double Tree Hotel without prior approval from a supervisor, which he did not obtain, according to Palm Beach journalist Jose Lambiet.
Raja claimed he left his post to check on an abandoned vehicle. A screenshot from a news video report the following day shows the cop pulled his van perpendicular to Jones’ car, blocking the exit for other cars.
Raja stepped out of the vehicle without a badge or police radio.
Police claim he was “suddenly confronted by an armed subject,” which made Raja fear for his life.
Raja fired six times, striking Jones three times.
Jones did not fire once.
Police have yet to say whether or not he actually pointed his weapon at Raja. Or whether or not Raja identified himself as a police officer.
But the recorded call should answer that question.
More than 700 people attended a protest against the shooting last Thursday in front of the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department as you can see in the video below.