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Law enforcement including U.S. Marshals and East Baton Rouge Sheriffs Office deputies investigate on Truth Drive near Faith Ave., where crime scene tape blocked access near a vehicle that had what appeared to be evidence markers around it, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022. One street over on Wisdom Drive there was also law enforcement presence and crime scene tape.

Law enforcement agents assigned to a U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force exchanged gunfire with a suspect outside of Baker on Thursday morning, eventually shooting the man dead after he ran his SUV into a law enforcement vehicle and took off on foot in the residential area, Louisiana State Police said in a news release.

The shooting happened shortly after 7 a.m., State Police spokesman Christian Reed said, when members of the task force encountered an "active fugitive" in the 1700 block of Truth Drive. The man killed by law enforcement has been identified as 51-year-old David Jones, said Shane Evans, chief of investigations for the East Baton Rouge Coroner.

Agents with the task force initially traced Jones to the Baker-area neighborhood marked by signs reading "Abundance Place," Reed said, where they located him driving in his car. After realizing law enforcement was trying to arrest him, Jones tried to flee in his vehicle, Reed said, before intentionally crashing his Toyota SUV into a law enforcement vehicle.

Jones then continued his escape attempt on foot and fired shots at officers before running through several residential properties, Reed said. When officers finally confronted him in a driveway, he threatened them with a gun again, Reed said, and was shot multiple times, resulting in his death. 

Residents reported hearing over a dozen shots.

The investigation drew a large police presence to a sprawling scene encompassing two blocks in the small neighborhood off Heck Young Road. Units from the marshals, Louisiana State Police, the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office, and Baton Rouge police responded, along with a Zachary Fire Department truck and an East Baton Rouge EMS ambulance. 

Authorities had sought to arrest Jones on counts of home invasion, domestic abuse battery/child endangerment, aggravated battery and possessing a firearm while a convicted felon, according to an affidavit filed Tuesday in East Baton Rouge district court. The affidavit says Jones had been out of custody and on parole for earlier allegations of armed robbery and first-degree robbery.

Jones allegedly broke into the apartment of an ex-girlfriend last Friday before striking her with a gun, the recently filed affidavit says — an episode that the victim’s 10-, 12- and 15-year-old children watched unfold. In a struggle for the gun, it fired once, and the victim was able to run to another apartment and call for help, the document says.

Jones then fled in a black Toyota SUV, the affidavit says. The vehicle's description matches that of a vehicle which sat Thursday morning in the culvert on Truth Drive, pocked with what appeared to be bullet holes, as police worked the scene of Jones’ death.

It was not immediately clear Thursday which agency employs the officer who shot and killed Jones. Reed, the State Police spokesman, did not immediately respond when asked who the agent who fired the shots works for. 

State Police are typically asked to investigate when a person dies in the custody of law enforcement or in officer-involved shootings — usually when a local agency requests such an investigation.

The array of agencies at the scene Thursday reflects the range of offices that work with the marshals' fugitive task forces. The task forces seek to combine resources of federal, state, and local agencies to "locate and apprehend the most dangerous fugitives and assist in high profile investigations," according to the marshals' website.

The agency heads eight regional task forces across the country plus dozens of local task forces. Its agents frequently aid in Louisiana law enforcement investigations, usually with help of other local police or deputies who are assigned to a local marshals' task force.

U.S. Marshals helped capture a 19-year-old man earlier this month wanted for a shooting and robbery at LSU. In April, a joint operation by Baton Rouge Police and the marshals captured a 21-year-old man accused of opening fire at the Mall of Louisiana. 


Email James Finn at jfinn@theadvocate.com.