Detroit man charged for fatal ambush of Highland Park reserve officer

A Detroit man has been charged with the murder of an off-duty Highland Park reserve officer.

On Monday prosecutors charged Walter Jennings, 35,  with first degree murder of Roderick Jones among a host of charges.

"It really hit home the relationship me and him had," said Highland Park Police Chief Kevin Coney. "I love all my officers but the relationship me and him had was different." 

Jones was more than just a co-worker, he was a friend - one he had a lot in common with. 

"Losing a father, a brother, a son, a coworker, a mentor to some," Coney said. "It is really sad, really sad."

Jones was off-duty, working a security side-job at the Opyum Lounge on Eight Mile in Detroit early Saturday morning when investigators say he was ambushed by a suspect he had kicked out.

Jennings is being held without bond in Wayne County Jail.

While investigators took several people with Jennings into custody on misdemeanor warrants. They believe Jennings, a career criminal, fatally shot Jones. 

"He's a criminal," said Steve Dolunt, assistant Detroit police chief. "Narcotics, weapons. He seems to think if he pleas he'll get out with a lesser sentence and apparently its worked for him. Hopefully this time they won't let him take a plea and we put a bad guy behind bars. 

"I'm glad the prosecutor signed off so quickly and hopefully justice will be served."

There are many stories about Jones' heroic nature. One was another incident at the Opyum lounge a couple of years ago in which Jones dodged bullets then carried a shooting victim to safety.

"He was an Army Ranger," Coney said. "You have to be elite to get in a unit like that. Some of the things he did while in Iraq, he is a hero in my eyes."

Flags flew at half staff at several city offices around Highland Park in memory of Jones.

A GoFundMe account has already raised thousands of dollars for the Jones family.

 If you would like to make a donation CLICK HERE.
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