Florida police officer fired for fatally shooting black musician after his car broke down

The decision comes nearly three weeks after the fatal incident 

Justin Carissimo
New York
Friday 13 November 2015 00:12 GMT
Officer Nouman Raja receives a medal.
Officer Nouman Raja receives a medal. (Palm Beach Gardens Police Officer)

A South Florida city has fired an officer who fatally shot a church drummer who was awaiting roadside assistance inside his broken down SUV.

The Palm Beach Gardens Police Department issued a statement on Wednesday afternoon saying that Officer Norman Raja was fired.

“The City of Palm Beach Gardens has been cautiously and methodically considering the employment status of Officer Nouman Raja. Therefore, Officer Raja, a probationary employee with the City, has been terminated from employment effective Wednesday, November 11, 2015 at 5:00 PM,” the statement read.

The department said that an independent investigation will continue to determine whether criminal charges will be brought against the officer.

The shooting occurred when Corey Jones, 31, was sitting in his car on October 18 on a Palm Beach turnpike waiting for assistance after his vehicle broke down. Officer Raja approached Jones in an unmarked police van. He approached Jones in plainclothes and it's unclear if he showed his badge before shooting Jones three times. A gun registered in Jones name was recovered at the scene but reports say he had not fired the legally purchased firearm.

The family of Jones issued a statement saying they were pleased with the Officer Raja's firing but they are still calling for criminal charges against him.

"We maintain that the officer in question also must be held criminally liable for his reckless actions that night," they said. "Our family remains hopeful that the outside agencies brought in to investigate Corey's killing will soon begin to yield factual information about how and why this officer acted so callously.”

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