breaking news

Danville officer shot and killed, suspect ID’d

Published: Monday, January 18, 2016 @ 12:55 AM
Updated: Monday, January 18, 2016 @ 6:30 AM

Authorities are investigating after a Danville officer was shot and killed in the small town located in Knox County. VIDEO: provided by WBNS-TV.

UPDATE @ 6:30 a.m.

Herschel Jones III has been identified as the alleged suspect in the shooting death of Danville police officer Thomas Cottrell, according to a release from the Knox County Sheriff’s Office.

Cottrell was found dead at 11:47 p.m. Sunday behind the Danville Municipal Building — less than 30 minutes after the dispatch center received a call from a female in Danville stating that the police officers in Danville were in danger.

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She said that her ex-boyfriend, Herschel Ray Jones, had left with weapons and was looking to kill an officer, the release said. Dispatch personnel attempted to make contact with the Danville officer, but were unsuccessful. Deputies from the Knox County Sheriff’s Office searched the village.

When Cottrell was found, his weapon and cruiser had been stolen.

Shortly after 1:30 a.m. this morning, Jones III was observed running from a residence on E. Washington Street. After a short foot chase, Jones III was taken into custody by officers in the area of the Danville Park.

A female outside of the residence was interviewed by officers and later released.

Officers from the Knox County Sheriff’s Office and B.C.I. are investigating the incident.

UPDATE @ 5:45 a.m.

Officials in Knox County have identified the Danville police officer killed in the line of duty as Thomas Cottrell.

UPDATE @ 4:10 a.m.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol has confirmed an officer found shot in Danville has died.

The shooting prompted a statewide alert after the officer and police cruiser went missing around midnight in the village located in Knox County.

The officer, who has not yet been identified, was found shot outside the Danville Municipal Building.

The shooting suspect is also reported in custody after a two-hour search.

UPDATE @ 3:25 a.m.

While our newsroom has not received an official update on the condition of the shot officer, Franklin County Sheriff Chief Deputy Jim Gilbert said on Twitter the officer has died.

Gilbert tweeted “Prayers for Ohio’s first fallen officer for 2016 a Danville PD Officer was shot/killed this evening in Knox County.”

Danville is a village in Knox County with a population just over 1,000 according to the 2010 census.

UPDATE @ 2:15 a.m.

The suspect accused in the shooting of a missing Danville police officer is in custody.

Our news partner WBNS-TV in Columbus reports the suspect was arrested in Danville shortly before 2 a.m. after a two-hour long search.

Officials said the officer was found shot outside the Danville Municipal Building and the Bureau of Criminal Investigation heading to the scene to investigate.

We’ll continue to update this page as new information becomes available.


A statewide alert has been issued by the Ohio State Highway Patrol for a stolen police cruiser from Knox County and a missing Danville police officer that may be injured.

Our news partner WBNS-TV in Columbus reports troopers said the missing officer was on duty at the time and his hat was found in the area with blood on it.

No information has been released about on how badly injured the officer may be, where he is, or if he’s with the missing cruiser. Information on a potential suspect was also not released.

Danville is located in Knox County and is over an hour drive northeast of Columbus.

We’re monitoring this breaking story and will update this page when new information is available.