ATLANTA - An Atlanta police officer and another driver are facing homicide and racing charges in a deadly crash in midtown.
Investigators believe Atlanta police Officer Shawn Jones Jr. and another driver, Jade Debarje, 27, were racing each other in what ended as a deadly crash seven months ago.
Jones was off-duty and coming from a midtown Atlanta club when he crashed into a wall on Peachtree Street, killing his passenger, Ramish Attai, 20, and severely injuring himself.
Through an open records request, Channel 2’s Nicole Carr obtained an initial incident report in which Debarje, a second driver, admitted she was following Jones as she watched him hit the curb and crash. But she said he "couldn't have been going very fast."
Charges indicate otherwise.
Debaje has turned from a witness to a suspect.
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There is no record that either Debaje or Jones have been arrested for the vehicular homicide and racing charges recently filed by the Georgia State Patrol.
Those warrants were electronically submitted in February.
To date, Jones, who is the son of a recently retired Atlanta Police Department assistant chief, remains employed by the Atlanta Police Department, although sources tell Channel 2 Action News he never physically returned to duty because of the serious injuries he suffered in the crash.
The Police Department issued a statement saying they were not informed of the vehicular homicide charges filed against Jones.
"The Atlanta Police Department has not yet received notice that Officer Shawn Jones Jr. has been charged with vehicular homicide. Nevertheless, the Atlanta Police Department’s Office of Professional Standards is continuing to investigate this incident. Following the conclusion of the internal investigation, Chief Shields will review the evidence therein to determine the appropriate disciplinary action, if any. Chief Shields has always held accountability and honesty in high regard and will continue to hold her officers to the highest standard."
Debarje was not seriously injured in the crash. Again, no agency has clarified why she hasn't been arrested in this case.
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