Ex-Girlfriend Of Murder Suspect Shares New Details That Led To Killing Of Danville Officer


*Warning – some of the information you are about to read or view could be disturbing to some people*

Police officers across central Ohio along with others from across the country will say goodbye to Danville police officer Thomas Cottrell. 

The officer was shot and killed in the line of duty Monday night.

Meanwhile the man accused of killing Cottrell, Hershel Jones III, sits in jail on a parole violation.

Now, a few days removed from the horrific night, his ex-girlfriend is sharing what she said led to those events over the weekend.

Tiffiny Willgrube said she had just broke up with Jones but because he couldn’t drive she agreed to take him to a doctor’s appointment Friday.

She said opening the door was just enough to nearly cost her life.

According to Willgrube, she was beaten from Friday through Sunday, held at gunpoint and against her will.

She says injuries on her face were so apparent that when the two were approached by a police officer Sunday as they sat in her truck, Jones made her cover her cuts and bruises with her hoodie. That police officer was Cottrell.

"Herschel realized he was getting out of his car. I heard him unclick the safety on both the pistols that he had on him,” Willgrube said. “And he told him everything was ok and Officer Cottrell was like ‘you guys have a good night’ and proceeded to drive away.”

When the two walked inside her trailer 15 minutes later, Willgrube says Jones announced a deadly threat he'd made before: he was going to kill a police officer.

Willgrube alleges Jones was high on meth and other drugs when he took off. That's when she called 911.

In the 911 call, Willgrube told the dispatcher: “my boyfriend is in camo and says he's going to kill a cop.”

Willgrube said Jones soon returned. An arrival that she says won’t leave her mind.

“Door opens and he's got Officer Cottrell's flak jacket and it's covered with blood,” she said. “After he'd killed that cop he had this sneer but a smirk at the same time.”

That's when Willgrube says Jones tried to destroy evidence, like his own bloody clothes, by burning them.

Those flames summoned police who surrounded the trailer.

“He was going to kill me first before the cops killed him,” she said. “He told me it was going to be suicide by cop. That’s what he wanted.”

Jones tried to run but was quickly caught and taken to jail.

While Jones sits in jail, he made one more phone call to Willgrube.

He left a voicemail saying: "I'm sorry for the way this went. The way this ended. But at least I get to tell you goodbye. I love you baby.”

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