Authorities: Man Shot Ex-Wife, Led Chase With 4 Children
October 4, 2007
PLAINFIELD, Ind. -- A state trooper fatally shot a homicide suspect who pointed a gun at a child in his lap following a chase on Interstate 70 west of Indianapolis Wednesday night, police said.
Major Jones III, 28, of Indianapolis, killed his ex-wife, Jessica Jones, outside a Terre Haute hotel late Wednesday before leading officers on the chase with four children -- ages 2, 4, 5, and 6 -- in his SUV, according to police.
Police chased Major Jones east for about 40 miles at speeds up to 90 mph, and he stopped on I-70 at about 11:35 p.m. after deflating three tires on stop sticks between the Monrovia and Plainfield exits, authorities said.
Jones released three of the children during a 25-minute standoff in which he stayed in the SUV and became increasingly agitated, state police said. The standoff ended at about midnight when Trooper Terry Watson shot him after Jones pointed a gun at the fourth child and officers, state police said.
"(Jones) did make a wave of the gun toward the child and was making some comments that were considered life threatening," state police Sgt. Rich Myers said. "It turned out good in one way that we were ultimately able to get the children out safely."
None of the children was hurt. Police said three of the kids were the couple's and one was Jessica Jones' by another man.
Watson, 52, is a three-year veteran of the Indiana State Police and a member of their SWAT team.
Police said Major Jones killed his ex-wife before leading officers on a chase in this SUV with four children as passengers. The SUV stopped after 40 miles, and a state trooper shot Jones after Jones pointed a gun at a child in his lap, police said.
Police said Major Jones and Jessica Jones, 26, planned to meet Wednesday at a Ramada Inn in Terre Haute so he could give her child support money. They had been divorced for about four years.
The two met at the Ramada and got into an argument, and Jessica Jones escaped and ran to the nearby Drury Inn, where she worked, but could not get in because the building was locked after hours, said Bill Bergherm, assistant chief of criminal investigations for Terre Haute police.
Major Jones fired several shots just before 11 p.m., and Jessica Jones died near the doors of the Drury Inn, police said.
Vigo County Coroner Dr. Roland Kohr said Jessica Jones died of multiple gunshot wounds, at least one to the head. Five casings were found outside the Drury Inn.
County officials were working to place the children with Jessica Jones' mother, Bergherm said.
Major Jones had lived at his mother's east-side Indianapolis home since his divorce. At that home, a family representative said relatives saw no sign that he would kill his ex-wife.
"Our primary focus and concern right now is for the children. We want to see them safe and sound and taken care of," said the spokesman, Mel Keaton.
Major Jones and Jessica Jones had joint custody of their three children, court records show.