911 calls reveal details of confrontation that ended with officer shot

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Video from Pasco County deputies' body-worn cameras and a series of 911 recordings released Thursday paint a clearer picture of how a fender-bender in Zephyrhills ended with a bullet wound in an off-duty police officer's shoulder.

According to Pasco detectives, Christopher Wayne Jones, 33, was driving a Lincoln Navigator when he rear-ended another car in downtown Zephyrhills. Several witnesses saw the crash, including Robert Potts, an off-duty Tampa Police Department reserve officer, who followed him.

Among the recordings released by Pasco County, all of which span about 10 minutes, one was from Potts, who had tailed Jones about two miles into a remote community.

"I'm in Zephyrhills. I'm following a truck that just rear-ended a lady and left. We're down at 23rd Street and Red Hill. It's a black Lincoln Navigator," Potts told the 911 dispatcher.

A flurry of calls came in as Potts and Jones faced off outside their vehicles, leading to gunfire.

"There's an accident or something out front. I heard a gunshot. I got my babies laying on the floor. Somebody needs to get out here," one caller said. "I heard people yelling, so I went to my door and looked out the window and then there's a gunshot."

"I just saw two men hollering at each other, one telling one to get on the ground and a gun went off," another witness told the dispatcher.

According to detectives, a verbal argument between Potts and Jones turned physical and, during the scuffle, Potts pulled his gun and accidentally fired it into his shoulder.

"I've got a caller at 23rd Street and Darren Drive. He has been shot!" a dispatcher can be heard saying after Potts called following the shooting.

Jones, meanwhile, had run off and was eventually tracked down by deputies after a two and a half hour search. He's facing a series of charges including drug trafficking and possession after methamphetamine, Oxycodone, cocaine, and marijuana.

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office released three video recordings from deputies' body cameras following Jones' arrest.

In one of them, a deputy asks Jones what happened.

"Just for my own curiosity, was there a fight or something where somebody got shot?" the deputy asked.

"Somebody tried to apprehend me," Jones responded. "I hauled a--...when they caught up with me, they drew the gun and they tried to tackle me to the ground."

"And it went off?" the deputy asked and Jones appears to nod.

Potts is not facing charges for firing his gun, but supervisors are reviewing his actions, as is standard in cases like this. He's expected to make a full recovery and be released from the hospital soon.

"Whenever one of our officers uses his weapon, whether it's on duty or off duty, we look into it," said Steve Hegarty, a Tampa police spokesperson. "There will be an investigation into it. We're not saying that anything went wrong, but that's just standard."

Responding to questions about the responsibilities of reserve officers, Hegarty explained they are men and women who have either retired or moved on from the military or other law enforcement agencies and volunteer at TPD.

"They have the same powers and responsibilities as any other officer," Hegarty said. "Especially during the parade season, they're really a Godsend for us because we need as many officers out there as we can get."