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Park Forest officer hurt in shootout ‘doing better’ after surgery

Park Forest Officer Timothy Jones. Facebook photo

A 24-year-old Park Forest police officer survived a shootout Saturday that left a suspect dead and was “doing better” after surgery, officials said.

Officer Timothy Jones — a cop in the south suburb for less than a year — “underwent emergency surgery for a gunshot wound to the head” at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn and was in “critical but stable condition” Saturday night, according to police Chief Peter J. Green.

Jones’ father is William Jones, the police chief in Country Club Hills, according to Vincent Lockett, an alderman in that suburb.

“I’m praying he will make it through. He’s a great kid,” Lockett said Saturday afternoon. “He’s doing better. He just came out of surgery.

He was hopeful. “God always protects his angels,” he said.

Officer Timothy Jones. Park Forest Police Department
Officer Timothy Jones. Park Forest Police Department

Jones was shot multiple times after responding to reports of a break-in at a vacant home in the 300 block of Neola Street around 5:40 a.m.

Jones and other officers found a stolen vehicle at the house, authorities said, and surrounded the building.

“A suspect exited the home, and as officers attempted to detain him, he produced a handgun and began firing,” hitting Jones, Green said.

He said the officers returned fire, killing the man, identified as Thurman Reynolds, 21, of Park Forest.

The police said Reynolds, who was dead at the scene, used a gun that was reported stolen in Texas and also was armed with a second gun.

According to court records, Reynolds, then 5-feet-1 and 120 pounds, had a misdemeanor battery arrest in 2014 in Lansing.

The police didn’t give details of the shooting or how many shots were fired but said no other officers were injured.

Jones, who’s single and has no children, initially was taken to Franciscan St. James Health in Olympia Fields, then airlifted to Advocate Christ Medical Center in critical condition.

More than 50 first-responders went to the hospital to offer their support for the wounded officer and his family, Lockett said.

Jones, who has a younger sister, began his police academy training after the Fourth of July last year, according to the police department, which posted a photo of him and two others it called “our newest recruits” last July 2.

Because officers were involved, the shooting is being investigated by the Illinois State Police Public Integrity Task Force, according to Green.

Timothy Jones, left, as he was starting at the police academy last July, seen with fellow recruits Christopher Batzel, center, and Haytham Elyyan. Park Forest police Instagram photo
Timothy Jones, left, as he was starting at the police academy last July, seen with fellow recruits Christopher Batzel, center, and Haytham Elyyan. Park Forest police Instagram photo

Robert Manuel, the president of the University of Indianapolis, said Jones is a 2014 graduate of the school.

He expressed sympathy for him in a tweet on the university’s official Twitter feed, saying: “Our thoughts & prayers are with UIndy alum Tim Jones, a member of the Illinois @ParkForestPD, who was shot in the line of duty this morning.”

Officer Timothy Jones, second from right, after taking the oath of office last Sept. 22 at a village board meeting. Also, from left, are: Officer Haytham Elyyan, Officer Christopher Batzel, Chief Peter Green and Officer Jack Rasmas. Park Forest Instagram
Officer Timothy Jones, second from right, after taking the oath of office last Sept. 22 at a village board meeting. Also, from left, are: Officer Haytham Elyyan, Officer Christopher Batzel, Chief Peter Green and Officer Jack Rasmas. Park Forest Instagram photo
William Jones, the wounded officer’s father, is the police chief in Country Club Hills.
William Jones, the wounded officer’s father, is the police chief in Country Club Hills.