The Havre de Grace man who was shot and killed in a standoff with law enforcement Saturday was not holding a gun, the Harford County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday.
Austin Francis Jones, 34, had barricaded himself in a room in the 700 block of Erie Street and made "an overt gesture with a black object toward the responding officers" before he was shot by a deputy, according to the sheriff's office.
Investigators determined that the black object was not a gun, the sheriff’s office said Tuesday.
“It was a black plastic object Jones had fashioned into the shape of a handgun,” Cristie Kahler, spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office, said.
After seeing the object, a deputy on the Special Response Team shot Jones, who was pronounced dead as of 7:40 p.m. Saturday.
The deputy, who Kahler said had been on the Special Response Team for two years, was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation by the sheriff's office, which is standard procedure after an officer-involved shooting. He had been a Baltimore County officer before joining the Harford County Sheriff’s Office five years ago, according to Kahler, who said his identity will not be released.
Initially, Havre de Grace police said they responded to the Erie Street area at approximately 4:20 p.m. Saturday for a reported fight when they found Jones barricaded inside an apartment in the 700 block of Erie Street.
The Harford County Crisis Negotiation Team and Special Response Team were called in to assist at 6 p.m., according to Kahler.
Jones had taken a woman hostage, according to the sheriff's office, which reported the woman was released unharmed through negotiations with the Crisis Negotiation Team.