Corey Jones shooting case sent to grand jury

Posted at 1:13 PM, Apr 27, 2016

Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg has announced that the Corey Jones case will go a Palm Beach County Grand Jury.

He said that his office has interviewed 230 people in more than 30 states and three countries. The grand jury will hear the case before June 30.

RELATED: More Corey Jones coverage

The development comes more than six months after Jones was shot and killed by then-Palm Beach Gardens police officer Nouman Raja.

According to investigators, Jones was waiting for a tow truck after his car broke down near Interstate 95 and PGA Boulevard during the early morning hours of Oct. 18, 2015.

That's when he was approached by Raja who was in an unmarked police car and wearing plain clothes at the time.

The shooting attracted national attention and local protests.

“I’m not surprised. In an officer-involved shooting, we often see these cases not only locally but nationally go to a grand jury,” said NewsChannel 5 Legal Analyst Michelle Suskauer.

"This is a process. We're looking for this process to continue in a favorable way as we look for justice for Corey and we are very hopeful that the grand jury now will look at all the evidence, make a fair assessment and come back with the charge against officer Raja right now," said Palm Beach County Urban League President Patrick Franklin.

The State Attorney's Office did not say if Raja was interviewed at the scene of shooting or if he cooperated.

Through their attorney the Jones family said in part, "While we are pleased to learn that the officer who senseless killed our Corey will face a Grand Jury for his reckless act, we understand that nothing can bring back our son, brother and friend. Our goal now as a family is to ensure that this never happens to another innocent citizen."

The statement concluded by saying, "While we are leery of the Grand Jury process, we will remain vigilant and peacefully demand greater accountability and transparency from law enforcement."

"The death of Corey Jones should have not happened that morning," Palm Beach Gardens Police Chief Stephen J. Stepp said Wednesday afternoon. He said his city has taken steps to avoid another tragedy, including body cameras and new policies and training.

"We look forward to participating in the process," Raja's attorney Richard Lubin said in a statement.