Update: Shooter Identified In Gloucester Township Police Department Shooting
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By Chelsea Karnash
GLOUCESTER TOWNSHIP, NJ (CBS) – New details have emerged about a Friday morning shooting at the Gloucester Township police station, including the identity of the shooter. (see related story)
Gloucester Township Police Chief Harry Earle held a press conference on the incident on Friday afternoon, calling the actions of police “heroic.”
He also recounted previously unknown details of the shooting to a crowd of reporters and township personnel gathered at the press conference.
According to Earle, officers responded to a residence around 1:07 a.m. for reports of a suspicious person walking around a home.
Officers who arrived on the scene saw a vehicle matching the description of the one the caller had referenced and were able to pull the car over.
Eddie Jones III, a 39-year-old from Willingboro, was identified as the driver of the vehicle. Jones first identified himself as a Willingboro corrections officer, but it was later determined that he was actually a NJ State Corrections communications officer.
Jones was charged with multiple offenses, including stalking, and was then brought to the police station for processing.
At the station, Jones allegedly overpowered the female officer, identified as Ruth Burns, and was able to take possession of her secured weapon. Two other officers at the station, identified as Sgt. James Garber and Sgt. Kevin Thyne, responded to the situation, and according to Earle, Jones “unleashed a barrage of gunfire at the officers.”
Sergeant Thyne was shot in his duty belt causing a laceration to the stomach. He also suffered a graze wound to his chin. Officer Burns was struck in the foot by a bullet. Sergeant Garber suffered the most grievous injuries, including shots to the stomach and chest and a graze wound to his head.
All three officers were taken to Cooper University Hospital, where Burns and Thyne were treated and released. Sergeant Garber underwent surgery for the shot to his stomach and is currently recovering.
According to Earle, Jones had been involved in prior domestic violence incidents.
Earle also said that, while all evidence points towards self defense on the part of the officers, the investigation is still ongoing.
All three officers are on administrative leave as per protocol.