Man shot by law officers was Iraq War veteran, 2004 Maryville High School graduate
In early 2006, PFC Theodore “T.J.” Jones IV came home from Camp Gannon in Husaybah, Iraq.
Serving with the II Military Expedition Force, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, he and fellow Marines returned to Camp LeJeune, N.C., after taking part in Steel Curtain, Iron Fist and other coalition operations.
But Jones, the son of Theodore “Theo” Jones III and Vickie Jones of Maryville, didn’t come through totally unscathed.
According to a Daily Times item announcing his homecoming, Jones “received minor injuries from an IED blast” during his service in Iraq. The announcement goes on to say, “Following a brief vacation with family he will return to Maryville during the afternoon of April 6. Friends and family are welcome to call or come by his family home on Fifth Street. He is scheduled to re-deploy in early 2007.”
Early Thursday morning, Jones was shot by police and later died at University of Tennessee Medical Center.
The Iraq War veteran, a 2004 graduate of Maryville High School, was within a block of the family home.
His father posted this on Facebook Thursday:
“Today, I feel great pain. My beloved son, Theodore “TJ” Jones IV, last night suffered another flash back to his combat service as a US Marine. He has lost the battle with PTSD. This morning, he sits within sight of Creator and Jesus. He now smokes the Pipe with other warriors who fought to defend their beliefs. Thanks for your prayers and thoughts.”
Numerous condolences followed on the father’s Facebook page, such as:
• Wayne Bradford: “Teddy, I am so sorry. I can hardly type this through the tears.”
• Debbie Degnan: “Ohhhhhhhh Teddy, my sweet friend, my heart breaks for you. I wish I could bear your pain for you. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.”
Earlier today, Stephanie Kirk, of Maryville, contacted The Daily Times and identified herself as the man’s sister, identifying him as Lance Cpl. Theodore Jones IV. She released the following statement: “On behalf of the family, we would appreciate your thoughts and prayers at this time. We would also appreciate your respecting our privacy while we deal with the loss and notify family.”
Maryville Police Chief Tony Crisp told The Daily Times that police received a call at 2:39 a.m. reporting shots were fired in the area of Jett Road off East Broadway Avenue.
A second call came in immediately afterward from a driver saying he was shot at by a subject near Lowe’s Drug and Helen Ross McNabb Center on East Broadway Avenue. The driver said three shots had been fired at his vehicle. Crisp said further investigation revealed the car had been struck three times.
Officers shifted the search area to between Fifth and Sixth streets on East Broadway.
An officer driving east on East Broadway was fired upon and then police established a perimeter of the area and attempted to locate the man. The suspect was observed carrying a pistol at 1811 E. Broadway Ave. and was seen forcibly entering a vacant house SEmD also the site of a former flower shop — at that location.
“While in the building, he shot at officers through a side window,” Crisp said. One was fired at an officer who was in a patrol car, while another shot was fired at an officer who was behind a tree.
Crisp said negotiations were undertaken but were unsuccessful.
“He later exited the front of the building with a firearm and then retreated back into the building,” Crisp said. “Once again, he entered out the front of the building into East Broadway with a firearm.
“The man ignored officers verbal commands to drop his weapon,” the Maryville police chief said. “He was a threat to the safety of the officers and Maryville Police Department (officers) and one Blount County deputy shot the perpetrator.”
Crisp said an ambulance was summoned to the scene at 4:06 a.m. SEmD 87 minutes after the first report of shots fired.
Officers on paid leave
Crisp identified the weapon as a 45-caliber semiautomatic pistol but did not say what manufacturer and model.
Jones was transported to University of Tennessee Medical Center where he died as a result of his injuries.
Crisp said the two Maryville officers had been placed on administrative leave with pay.
Blount County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Marian O’Briant said the Blount County deputy has also been placed on administrative leave with pay.
None of the officers has been identified.
“The time of day was on our side,” Crisp said, noting that traffic was minimal and the immediate area had been secured.
As of Thursday afternoon, the scene was still being processed.
“It’s a very traumatic occurrence for the family as well as our officers,” the chief said.