Officer

‘We Want Answers': Family of Corey Jones Speaks About His Death

The family of a Florida man shot and killed by a Palm Beach Gardens police officer in October is asking for answers.

Corey Jones, 31, a drummer in a local band, was heading home in the early morning hours of Oct. 18 when his SUV broke down off Interstate 95. He was waiting for help when Officer Nouman Raja, working a string of burglaries, stopped to check out what he believed to be an abandoned vehicle around 3 a.m., police said.

According to the Palm Beach Gardens police chief, Jones, who was armed, suddenly confronted Raja. The officer fired, striking him three times.

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Jones' registered gun, purchased just a few days before the deadly confrontation, was never fired, according to the law firm representing his family.

Raja remains on paid administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation.

"I'm expecting the truth to come out," said Jones' grandfather, Sylvester Banks Sr.

The family spoke exclusively with NBC 6 about Jones' death Wednesday at the Faith Center in Sunrise.

"We don't want this to be just something that happened that night and forget about tomorrow. We want answers and we want the truth," said Banks, who helped raise Jones after his mother died of cancer. "Like a son, like a son, and he looked up to me like a father."

Raja was in an unmarked police car and in plainclothes. The officer never displayed his badge during the encounter, according to NBC News.

Banks said he wants to see change within police departments to make officers more recognizable.

"I would like to see them wear police cameras and it would be nice if they were in uniform. We would be able to recognize them more," Banks said.

As questions continue to swirl around Jones' death, his family is honoring the memory of the man they lost.

Jones' cousin, Grammy Award-winning gospel singer Tye Tribbett, is using music to express his emotions.

"I can't really explain the feeling I felt. It was numb," Tribbett said.

He's now planning a concert at the Faith Center and will dedicate a song to his cousin.

"'Now it's time to celebrate, I got the victory. I got the victory.' It's going to work for our good in the end, and I believe that," Tribbett said.

The free concert to honor Jones will be held at the Faith Center in Sunrise at 7 p.m. Thursday.

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