PALM BEACH, Florida — More than a week after Corey Jones was shot and killed by a plainclothes police officer, the pain for his family is still fresh and questions remain.
They’re looking to Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg for answers, but few have been offered while the investigation continues.
“We take this investigation very seriously, and as such, we cannot afford to rush, cut corners or appear to be partial,” Aronberg told a rally Wednesday in front of his West Palm Beach office. “Our responsibility is to seek justice, our loyalty is to the community, and our commitment is to the truth.”
His words offered little comfort to a family in mourning.
“Why is my son gone today? Why?” a sobbing Clinton Jones Sr. asked the crowd.
Corey Jones, 31, had just played a gig — he drums in a band — and was heading home early on the morning of Oct. 18 when his car broke down. He called his big brother C.J., who offered to come get him, only to have Jones tell him he wanted to stay with the car “because I have to perform at church with the choir the next morning,” according to family attorney Benjamin Crump.
Another call went out to friend and band mate Mathew Huntsberger, who went to see Jones on the side of the road.
He left after Jones called a tow truck, telling CNN, “We didn’t think anything was going to happen.”
Around 3 a.m., Palm Beach Gardens police Officer Nouman Raja pulled up to check out what he thought was an abandoned car. Raja was on duty but was wearing civilian clothing and driving an unmarked car, Police Chief Stephen Stepp told reporters last week.
“As the officer exited his vehicle, he was suddenly confronted by an armed subject,” Stepp said. “As a result of the confrontation, the officer discharged his firearm, resulting in the death of Mr. Corey Jones.”
The prosecutor and the Jones family attorney agree that Jones never fired his weapon. The family’s attorney said his body was found up to 100 feet away from his car, making it seem as though he had possibly tried to run away.
Jones made 15 calls to roadside assistance that morning, phone records show. The final one logs in at 53 minutes, lasting well into the time Raja would have appeared on the scene.
The family has heard that the phone call may have been recorded, possibly giving valuable clues into what transpired between Raja and Jones, his brother C.J. said. The family is waiting to hear if that was the case.
“We don’t really know what happened, but I do know that my brother is a victim, and we’re looking for justice for him no matter what it takes,” said his sister Melissa Jones. “I’m going to make sure that day happens.”
Attorneys for the family are calling for an efficient and speedy investigation “so that the public can know the truth about what happened on that night.”
His sister wants the public to know the brother she knows.
“I want people to know that he was a level-headed person,” she said. “He loved people. He loved the Lord. I want people to see the person who he truly was, not who they’re trying to portray him to be.”
CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Greg Botelho contributed to this report.