Timothy James Jones
Appointed October 31, 1978
At about 1000 hours (10:00 a.m.) on Friday, August 26, 1994, Canine Officer Timothy James Jones1, Badge No. 498, and his Canine (K-9) partner, Laser, were shot and killed at the rear of 1142 Conway Street in the City of Saint Paul by the suspect who had murdered Officer Ronald Michael Ryan Jr.2, Badge No. 496, earlier in the day.
Officer Jones was off-duty on the morning of August 26, 1994, when Ryan responded to what appeared to be a routine “slumper” call. A complaint had been received about a man sleeping in a car in the parking lot of Sacred Heart Church at E. Sixth and Hope Streets in the City of Saint Paul. Officer Ryan approached the vehicle and woke the sleeper, who then identified himself. After obtaining the subject’s passport, the officer was returning to his police squad to check out the party’s identification when the assailant shot him five times. While Ryan lay gravely wounded on the ground, the suspect exited his vehicle, approached Ryan and took his service weapon from Ryan’s holster. The suspect, Guy Harvey Baker, 26, who was wanted in Mason City, Iowa, on a parole violation warrant for illegal possession of firearms, fled the scene, triggering a massive manhunt as he was pursued by officers from various agencies, along with their highly trained K-9 dogs.
Among the officers mustered was Officer Jones, who had volunteered to help search for the suspect with his Canine (K-9) partner, Laser. The suspect was hiding in an ice fishing shack behind a house on Conway Street when Laser picked up his scent. As Officer Jones and Laser approached the shack, the assailant fired Ryan’s service weapon through a small window and hit the officer in the head. Exiting the fish house and standing over Officer Jones, the attacker shot the officer in the head two more times. As the suspect was attacked by Laser, he shot the K-9 seven times. Other officers responding to the gunfire shot at the fish house, providing cover for officers trying to reach Jones, but the suspect was already gone, taking the officer’s service weapon with him.
At 1250 hours (12:50 p.m.), Guy Harvey Baker was found hiding under a pile of lumber and rubbish next to a porch two houses away, at 1129 Euclid Avenue, and was apprehended. Both officers’ guns were found behind a nearby house as well as a .38-caliber handgun used to shoot Officer Ryan. He was taken to the hospital under heavy guard and treated for a small cut on his forehead and a dog bite on his thigh. Police searched until 1900 hours (7:00 p.m.) for a second subject, Jay Barrientes, who was to meet the Baker Thursday night. He was wanted in Iowa for a drive-by shooting on August 12th, but it was later determined Barrientes was not involved in the murders of the two officers.
Many officers assisted in the search and capture of the suspect including 100 Saint Paul Police officers, Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) agents, State Patrol officers, four SWAT teams and officers from several surrounding communities. The MN National Guard also helped by providing equipment such as flak jackets, helmets, lights and night vision goggles. The suspect pled guilty to murdering both Officer Ryan and Officer Jones and was sentenced to life without parole.
Born on October 31, 1958, and raised in Ramsey County, thirty-six year old Timothy James “Nipper” Jones, had been with the Police Department since October 31, 1978 (sixteen years), and had attended one year at the US Air Force Academy before joining the police department. He was well known in the policing community for his work enthusiasm and natural gift in canine training; and had received several departmental commendations. He was survived by his wife, Roxanne, and two children, Matthew and Chelsea. Officer Jones’ funeral was held on Wednesday, August 31, 1994, at the Saint Paul Cathedral, and he is buried at Elmhurst Cemetery, Saint Paul, Minnesota.
1 Timothy James Jones was appointed Police Officer October 31, 1978; and was fatally injured by gunfire while searching for a murder suspect Friday, August 26, 1994.
2 Ronald Michael Ryan, Jr. was appointed Police Officer January 23, 1993; and was fatally injured by gunfire while responding to a “slumper” call Friday, August 26, 1994.