Dante Jones on active duty with the Marines

Forensic evidence in the Special Investigative Unit’s Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Case #19-05347, obtained through a public records request made to the Franklin County prosecutor, contradicts statements by the deputies involved in shooting unarmed Dante Redmond Jones. The shooting occurred on November 18, 2019 in rural Franklin County. Without dashboard cameras, body cameras and witnesses, collecting other evidence remains the only method for judging the veracity of officer accounts. 

The Washington State Patrol Crime Scene Response Team concluded:

Four shots were fired into the vehicle striking Mr. Dante Jones multiple times from the open passenger door/window while he was in the driver seat. (Page 478 of the report)

This conclusion was based on the location of the bullet holes and trajectory of the bullets. (Pages 664-681)   

But the shooter, Franklin County Deputy Cody Quantrell, backed by Deputy Andrew Gardner have a different story. Deputy Quantrell stated that after he pulled up next to Jones’ car with his gun in one hand he had reached into the car with his left hand to get the car keys out of the ignition when Jones accelerated the car. Quantrell said that passenger door closed on him and he became pinned between the seat and the car door. Fearing for his life he shot Jones.

The shooting occurred after an on again, off again high speed chase, after which the two, Gardner and Quantrell, seemed confused about whether there were one or two “near collisions” with Jones who was clocked at anywhere from 87mph to 55 mph on the rural Franklin County Highway at around three o’clock in the morning. (Page 7) No damage can be seen on any of the sheriff department vehicles which are pictured in the report.

Four shots were fired. Three of the bullet casings were found in the middle of the road. (page 124-138) The other casing was found on the floor of the passenger side of the car (Page 681). If the door was closed on Quantrell, how did the three casings end up in the road? And why did the trajectory of the bullets show that they were fired from an open car door or window as the Washington State Patrol Crime Scene Report Team reports and not from close range from the passenger seat in the car where Quantrell said he was trapped?

At around 03:18 Sargeant Gordon Thomasson who had also been involved in the chase, gave a “terminate pursuit command.”  But Deputy Quantrell was not satisfied with that and said, “do you care if we still follow from a distance” (page 7). There was no response. Although Thomasson said in his statement that he gave the okay, the radio record (begins on page 22) does not support that and Quantrell admits in his statement that he did not get the okay to continue the pursuit (page 1389). At 03:23.16 Quantrell said “He just tried to hit my car. I have assault 1.” 

At 3:23:55 Shots fired. It only took less than 39 seconds for Quantrell to stop his car, get out of it and shoot the unarmed Jones.

At the time of the shooting Quantrell had been with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department for one year. From 2013 to 2016 he was with the Yakima Nation Tribe and from 2016 until 2018 he was with the Toppenish Police Department. Prior to his police work, he spent three years in the military in a perimeter reconnaissance unit. (page 1343)

In addition to the shooting evidence, the report has other interesting information– almost 200 pages of comments posted on Facebook regarding the shooting (page 731 to 904). The record includes posts made to the Tri- City Herald Facebook page as well as posts on other media Facebook pages in addition to those on the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office page.

Franklin County Prosecutor Shawn Sant has given no indication as to when he will respond to the report. In 2015 he declined to bring charges against three Pasco police who fired 17 times at Antonio Zambrano-Montes who had been throwing rocks.

22 thoughts on “Forensic Evidence Contradicts Franklin Sheriff Deputies’ Statements in the Shooting of Unarmed Dante Redmond Jones

    1. Shawn Sant has to decide whether to pursue the matter or do like he did with the rock thrower and say “case closed”. There are more inconsistencies than I point out in this post. The report has close to 1700 pages. I would have many questions!!

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  1. I knew Jones through the marine corps and reading the original report seems like something from a twilight zone. Jones was a calm, collected, and respectful person. I can say without a shadow of a doubt that they lied in this report and something else happened, none of what they said sounds like Jones.

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    1. Thanks for contacting me. I’m sorry for the loss of your friend. Jones did have meth in his system during the incident. I didn’t address that in my articles because I don’t think it has any relevance to the way deputies responded to his actions that night. He was speeding down a rural roadway near Othella where he was living. He didn’t stop for the deputies. They had his plates. The superior said “terminate the pursuit”. The deputy ignored the order and we have these tragic results. Then the deputy gave a story that the evidence does not support. If there were a dashboard camera or a body camera, maybe we would have more information but the police departments around here don’t believe in those. Isn’t that convenient.

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      1. Franklin County Prosecutor Shawn Sant has to do a better job or leave that position so someone else can.

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  2. Dante had never taken drugs like meth I can’t believe the results of that although he was spiraling down with post dramatic stress. Sad to here the officer did not obey his orders n if he was taking off or not is that a reason to take his life. I don’t buy his story per the evadence

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    1. Nothing Dante did was a capital offense. Police are not judge, jury and executioner. By disobeying an order to “terminate the pursuit,” the deputy set up the confrontation that had tragic consequence. We need the truth about what happened and I am going to continue to demand some answers.

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  3. read the report again, quantrell was being actively dragged on the road accelerating to 60mph when the shots were fired, explaining why the bullets were both in the road and in the passenger seat.

    also the car door was closed, so the shots did not come from an open window, but very likely an open car door because thats where quantrell had to access the vehicle to attempt to disarm the vehicle

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    1. Sant is running for judge. Please vote! I wonder about the discipline in Raymond’s office. Quantrell disobeyed the command to “terminate the pursuit”. The sargeant tries to cover up for it in his statement but Quantrell admits it in his and the radio recordings confirm. Quantrell tells a Othello officer to look for the casings “in the road”. The trajectory of the bullets are from an angle that would be difficult if Quantrell was trapped in the car as he claims. We all need to demand a hearing with expert witnesses!!!!

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  4. I am Dante’s father Donald Jones and I’m appalled at what’s happened to my only son this is a tragedy not only for his family but for all the other families that have and will go through the same injustice killing an unarmed black young man Dante deserves justice!!!!

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  5. I was Dantes Mom for the last 10 years if his life he struggled with PTSD from being in Syria having said that I’ll say this My Son was an Honorable Man He LOVED with his whole heart his courage and sacrifice for this country will not be forgotten he did not deserve to die like this he wasn’t a criminal he was a veteran he was unarmed and deserves Justice

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  6. I’m Dante’s father Donald Jones what this Sheriff did is killed an innocent young man who was kind hearted served his country loved his family and yet this officer is back at work like it’s just another day for him well it’s not for us knowing that Dante isn’t coming home or calling us ever again this is a tragedy beyond belief u always think this wouldn’t happen to any of my family but it’s happening to alot of families and this needs to stop cops get away with murder we need justice for my son and all the other young black men who r gunned downn he’s never owned a gun!!!!

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