A man accused of killing his girlfriend in Georgia and then gunning down a police officer in South Carolina had been dealing with mental problems before the slayings, the man's father said.
Police in South Carolina said Joshua Tremaine Jones, 26, faces charges of murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime in the death of Aiken police Master Cpl. Sandra Rogers. He is expected to appear in court in Aiken on Monday, according to Magistrate Judge Tracey Carroll.
The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division said that Rogers was shot Saturday morning while responding to a report of suspicious activity. The 49-year-old had spent nearly 28 years with the Aiken Public Safety department.
Jones was arrested hours later in Batesburg.
James Jones, the suspect's father, told reporters that his son had past run-ins with the law and "was going through some mental problems," though he didn't elaborate on those problems. Jones said his son had run away from home and moved in with his girlfriend. He said his son is from North Augusta and briefly lived in Atlanta.
In neighboring Georgia, The Augusta Chronicle reported Jones also faces murder charges in the death of his girlfriend, 21-year-old Cayce Vice. Police found her body in her apartment Saturday morning after she didn't show up for work at a Five Guys restaurant. She had been shot in the head.
Richmond County sheriff's Capt. Scott Peebles told the newspaper (http://bit.ly/yO5JS7) that the agency had obtained warrants for Jones for murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Peebles confirmed that Vice had filed a complaint against Jones for assault earlier this month.
A phone message left late Saturday for the Richmond County Sheriff's Office was not immediately returned.
Jones said that when he returned from work Friday, his son had taken his blue BMW without permission and left. Jones said he and his other son drove around searching but couldn't locate him.
Jones said his heart goes out to the victim' families, and that he's devastated as a father.
"I just went straight to God and said, `I cannot believe this.' After all that I have taught him, I just never thought that my family would have to deal with something like this," Jones said.
The Aiken public safety department issued a statement Saturday evening praising Rogers as "an invaluable street cop who exemplified the model of a Public Safety Officer," according to WLTX-TV in Columbia, S.C.
Last month, hundreds of people gathered to mourn another Aiken police officer killed in the line of duty. Officer Scotty Richardson, 33, died in the early hours of Dec. 21 after being shot in the head during a traffic stop at an apartment complex the night before. Aiken is a city of 30,000 that's located about 20 miles northwest of Augusta.