Des Moines police today laid out the events that led up to the fatal shooting of a man following a short chase last night. Sergeant Bruce Elrod told reporters that five undercover officers had been tracking a van driven by 40-year-old Gary Lee Jones, and suspected there was a half-pound of methamphetamine in the vehicle when they closed in on it at a convenience store early Thursday evening. Elrod says instead of surrendering, Jones was racing the van’s engine trying to get it into gear and take off. Elrod says one officer, Keith Hofferman, feared that the five undercover cops around the van would be hit as their suspect lurched it forward and back. The cop got his arm inside the van and fired one shot, and the autopsy indicates that bullet hit Jones in the neck and went into his chest. Elrod says though the man was shot and bleeding, he still took off, led a chase, and officers has to pull him from the van when they caught up and stopped him. Jones was pronounced dead after an ambulance took him to a local hospital. Elrod says there were “some drugs” found in the van, some on Jones, and paraphernalia at the couple’s home. The man’s wife, Karla Jones, was also arrested and is charged with conspiracy to deliver meth and a parole violation. Investigation continues, and police won’t name the four other officers involved in the incident for fear of endangering them, or their undercover cases.
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