Knox Co. Officer Shot Dead While On Duty In Targeted Killing


A Danville police officer is dead after authorities say a gunman was on the hunt to kill a member of law enforcement.

Police say dispatchers received a call from a woman in Danville around 11:20 p.m. on Sunday, saying police were in danger because her ex-boyfriend, 32-year-old Herschel Jones, was armed and “looking to kill an officer.”   Danville is a small village about 60 miles northeast of Columbus.

In response, dispatchers tried to make contact with Danville Officer Thomas Cottrell who was on patrol, but were unsuccessful.  A statewide alert was issued, and deputies from the Knox County Sheriff’s Office also searched the village, but couldn’t locate the officer.  Only Cottrell's hat, which had been covered in blood, was located during the search.

Around 20 minutes later, Cottrell’s body was found shot to death behind the Danville Municipal Building.  His service weapon and cruiser had been stolen.

Just after 1:30 a.m., the alleged killer was spotted running from a home on East Washington Street.  After a foot chase with police, Jones was taken into custody near Danville Park.  As of Monday afternoon, he faces a charge of tampering with evidence.

Court records show Jones has a lengthy criminal record, and in one case tried to claim he was legally insane.

Officers from the Knox County Sheriff’s Office and B.C.I. are investigating the deadly shooting.

Cottrell’s death marks the first for an officer in the line of duty in Ohio in 2016.

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