MONTGOMERY — James D. Jones, 60, of Shoals has been identified as the suspect killed when gunfire was exchanged between Jones and State Trooper Jarrod Lents, a nine year veteran of the Indiana State Police.
Around 1:35 p.m. Monday, Lents responded to a call of a disturbance at the Black Oak Armaments gun shop, owned by Keith Loughmiller, located between Washington and Montgomery, just east of Knepp’s Restaurant. Preliminary investigations indicate that an armed robbery was taking place when Lents arrived on the scene.
According to the Daviess County Sheriff’s Department daily activity log and the Washington City Police log, Washington Police Chief Mike Healy and Detective Trent McWilliams were dispatched to the scene around 1:40 p.m. and had requested K-9 units, but the K-9 units were later canceled. Healy and McWilliams then requested additional units to the scene.
Residents and business owners in the area said that until law enforcement showed up, nothing seemed out of the ordinary in the area. Most of the people in the area did not hear anything until authorities began to fire shots toward the gun shop and the back of the property.
The activity logs stated that the Jones had taken off on foot in an unknown direction of travel. Lents and Jones exchanged gunfire and Lents was struck multiple times before being transported by medical helicopter to Deaconess Hospital in Evansville for non-life threatening injuries. Lents has now been released from the hospital under the care of his family, a release said.
Jones was killed at the scene and his family has been notified.
According to Loogootee Chief of Police Kelly Rayhill, Jones had moved to the Loogootee and Shoals area between five and seven years ago from California. Rayhill said that Jones had moved around the area quite a bit.
“We had a few minor incidents with him but nothing major,” said Rayhill. “There were some domestic issues a few years ago, but there hadn’t been any issues recently.”
Most Martin County residents asked did not seem to be familiar with Jones or his whereabouts.
In a press release, the Indiana State Police said, “It is regrettable the actions of Mr. Jones resulted in his death. The Indiana State Police offers condolences to the extended Jones family for their loss. The ISP also expresses our thanks and gratitude to the public’s many expressions of well wishes for the speedy recovery of Trooper Lents.”
The investigation into the incident is still ongoing.