SARASOTA, Fla. – March 3, 2015 – 1:30 p.m.
Sarasota Police Officer Warren David Jones was shot and killed in the line of duty in the City of Sarasota on April 5, 1975. Officer Jones was with the Sarasota Police Department for two years and is the only officer killed in the line of duty in the 113 year history of the department.
On Monday night, the Sarasota City Commission unanimously approved an honorary street dedication for Officer Jones. The honorary street dedication is to commemorate his service to the public on the 40th anniversary of his death which will be April 5, 2015. Up to four (4) signs will be placed along Adams Lane, near the Sarasota Police Department, for the dedication, between Links Avenue and East Avenue in Sarasota. This will come at no cost to the City of Sarasota. The Southwest Florida Police Benevolent Association has agreed to cover all costs associated with the dedication.
On April 5, 1975, Officer Jones was shot and killed with his own firearm after struggling with Henry Lee Washington. Washington was stealing gas from an area station at 1450 Mango Street when Officer Jones noticed Washington’s vehicle parked next to the fuel storage. Officer Jones made contact with Washington and attempted to arrest him but while handcuffing him, Washington was able to gain control of Officer Jones’ firearm. After a struggle, Officer Jones was shot in the chest. Officer Jones attempted to make it back to his patrol car to call for backup but Washington beat Jones with his flashlight. Officer Jones died from his injuries the same night. Washington fled the area and was found in Fort Myers and committed suicide several days later.
There is a video on the Sarasota Police Department YouTube page at http://youtu.be/G9tk7vKCYDI with the story of the incident from 1975 as told by Officer Jon Vanik.