Police Officer Killed After Officials Receive Ominous Warning

| by Sheena Vasani
Police Officer Thomas Cottrell Police Officer Thomas Cottrell

After receiving a phone call warning him his life was in danger, an Ohio police officer was found dead Jan. 17.

Officials say a woman called police to warn them her armed ex-boyfriend, Herschel Ray Jones, intended to kill the six officers of the Danville Police Department, The Associated Press reports.

Shortly after receiving the call, police discovered the dead body of Officer Thomas Cottrell near the Danville Municipal Building. He was reportedly shot to death.

Officials caught Jones a few hours after discovering Cottrell’s body, although it is unclear if he has been charged yet.

Jones has a long history of criminal convictions dating back 15 years. He was released in April 2015 after serving four years in prison. His crimes range from burglary to owning chemicals to create drugs.

In a 2011 incident, he pleaded innocent by reason of insanity before changing the plea to guilty.

Some view this case as a reminder highlighting how difficult police work -- often the subject of negative media attention in recent years due to racial profiling -- can be.

"The members of the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio are heartbroken … His assassination is the latest reminder of how dangerous police work is and how the police are targeted for violence,” Jay McDonald posted on the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio’s Facebook page.

McDonald elaborated further in May 2015, writing in an opinion piece for, “there are a tiny fraction of bad cops out there, just as there are bad people in any profession.”

He also said, “The danger of blaming the problem-solvers for the problems is that it makes all of us less safe. Contempt for police emboldens violent criminals and may make the cop coming to help you less likely to act quickly in your defense.”

McDonald also quoted 2014 statistics stating more than 50,000 officers were attacked that year.

“So when police talk about the pressure we feel each time we go on duty … we're not trying to protect the wrongdoing of fellow officers. We're speaking out about the challenging realities of the job,” he said.

Sources: AP, Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio/Facebook, / Photo credit: Fox News