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Man dies after being Tased by South Tucson police

Man dies after being Tased by South Tucson police

  • Paul Ingram/

A 32-year-old man died last week after being tased by South Tucson police, and officials are seeking information from the public.

Terrill Anton Jones died after South Tucson police officers arrested him last Monday near 6th Avenue and 31st Street. During the incident, Jones ignored several commands, continued to approach cars in the street, and was shocked with a taser, officials said.

Following his death, police discovered Jones was linked to a homicide in Smyrna, Georgia.

As part of the Pima Regional Critical Incident Team, Oro Valley police were tasked with investigating Jones' death. On Friday, OVPD posted on Facebook that investigators with PRCIT have "identified numerous witness videos" posted on social media showing the moments leading to Jones' arrest and death while in the custody of South Tucson Police.

Officials are "asking community members who have any information regarding where Mr. Jones was staying before the incident or video that has not yet been shared with police to please contact Detective Carr at 520-229-4926 or 88-CRIME," OVPD wrote. "Thank you."

Around 5:25 p.m. last Monday, South Tucson police received "numerous" 911 calls that a man was in the street and "behaving erratically," said OVPD officials. While en route, South Tucson police were told he was "stopping traffic and pulling on door handles of moving vehicles."

Police arrived and ordered him to stop, but he "continued to approach vehicles in the roadway."

"When officers attempted to take the male into custody he became uncooperative and an altercation ensued," said OVPD officials. "Officers deployed a Taser and, with the assistance of a citizen, were able to secure him in handcuffs."

While in custody, Jones became unresponsive, and police officers called for help and began performing CPR. Paramedics with South Tucson Fire Department arrived and "took over medical intervention."

Jones was pronounced dead at the scene, officials said. After Jones was identified, he was linked to a homicide in Smyrna, Georgia. Police in Smyrna sought Jones after linking him to the fatal shooting of Michael Ezzard Jr, 22, during an incident at as shopping center on May 16. Surveillance footage showed Ezzard talking with two people when a gunman ran up to him, pointed a gun at his head and then wrestled him to the ground before shooting, reported the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

With Jones dead, Smyrna police announced their homicide case was closed.

Following the incident, officials activated PRCIT to review the details surrounding Jones' death in South Tucson police custody. Announced in March, the critical incident team is tasked with reviewing major incidents and allows law enforcement officers from a separate agency to take the lead in criminal investigations of those events.

Since the team's creation, it has reviewed several major incidents involving law enforcement officers in Pima County.

PRCIT includes around 60 investigators from nine police departments in the county, including OVPD, and South Tucson police, as well as the Pima County Sheriff's Department, Tucson Police Department, Marana Police Department, Pasqua Yaqui Police Department, Sahuarita Police Department. The team also includes the University of Arizona Police Department and the Pima Community College Police Department.

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