Police Officer Thomas Cottrell
Danville Police Department, Ohio
End of Watch: Sunday, January 17, 2016
Tour of Duty: Not available
Badge Number: Not available
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: January 17, 2016
Weapon Used: Gun; Unknown type
Suspect Info: In custody
Agency Contact Information
Police Chief Daniel Weckesser
Danville Police Department
512 Market Street
Danville, OH 43014
Phone: (740) 599-6888
Police Officer Thomas Cottrell was shot and killed from ambush behind the village’s municipal building shortly after 11:00 pm.
At approximately 11:20 pm dispatchers received a call from a female subject stating that police officers in Danville were in danger. She stated her boyfriend was armed and intended to kill a police officer.
Dispatchers were unable to reach Officer Cottrell on the radio. A massive search was initiated involving officers from other nearby agencies. His body was found behind the village’s municipal building approximately 30 minutes later. His service weapon and patrol car had been stolen.
Officers took the suspect into custody at approximately 1:30 am after spotting him running from a home in the village.
A police officer was found dead in Ohio with his gun and cruiser missing, authorities said early Monday.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol had deployed extra units and aviation resources after the Danville officer was reported missing and possibly wounded late Sunday.
Officer Thomas Cottrell was found dead without his service weapon or cruiser just before midnight, according to the Knox County Sheriff’s department.
It said dispatchers had received a tip-off from a female caller that Danville cops "were in danger" because her ex-boyfriend Herschel Jones had "left with weapons and was looking to kill an officer."
Dispatchers tried to reach the officer but were unsuccessful, the sheriff’s office added. Sheriff’s deputies searched the village of Danville and found Cottrell’s body behind a municipal building 27 minutes after the initial call.
The officer had been shot dead, according to NBC station WCMH.
Jones was taken into custody following a "foot chase" at around 1:36 a.m. after he was seen "running from a residence," the sheriff’s office said.
It was not immediately clear if Jones had been charged with any crime or if Cottrell’s weapon and cruiser had been recovered.
Jones has a lengthy criminal record and has tried to claim he was legally insane in one case. According to Knox County court records, he was charged in several cases with breaking and entering, burglary, receiving stolen property and carrying a concealed weapon.
He pleaded not guilty to a 2011 case by reason of insanity, but later changed his plea to guilty.
Jones served nearly four years in prison according to Ohio prison records, after he was convicted in 2011 for receiving stolen property and illegal possession of chemicals. He was released in April 2015.
Cottrell was one of six officers in the Danville Police Department, according to the force’s website.
Prayers for Ohio’s first fallen officer for 2016 a Danville PD Officer was shot/killed this evening in Knox County. pic.twitter.com/s0gW5nKYqS
-Chief Jim Gilbert (@CHIEFGILBERT1) January 18, 2016
Jay McDonald, President of Ohio’s Fraternal Order of Police said in a statement Monday morning that the organization was "devastated" by Cottrell’s death.
"His assassination is the latest reminder of how dangerous police work is and how the police are targeted for violence. The 25,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio will never forget that Officer Cottrell gave his life in the service of others," McDonald said.