More than 1,200 shots were exchanged between deputy sheriffs, state police and armed citizens and the suspect, Joseph Jones. The incident started after Jones shot Harry Jones (not related), a Brooke County deputy sheriff. The gunman Joseph Jones then barricaded himself in his home.
The incident began when Deputy Harry Jones and Lee Chambers, Brooke County Sheriff, responded to a phone call from Mrs. Jones that her husband was threatening her. Upon arrival at the Jones residence, Joseph Jones opened fire. Twenty shots were exchanged resulting in Deputy Jones being shot in the leg. Taking the wounded deputy, Sheriff Chambers returned to Wellsburg. Chambers secured six deputes, two state policemen, two machine guns and 10 riot guns and returned to the Jones home in Follansbee. A volley of gunfire met the posse on their arrival. The officers were joined by armed Follansbee citizens as a sensational gun battle began. Machine gun bullets poured into the house. Joseph Jones kept up a steady return fire of over 100 rounds from the basement windows and later the upper floor of the house. When the fire from the house ceased, Joseph Jones was fund wounded and unconscious. He was taken to the hospital. His wounds proved not to be serious.
Even though the bullet was removed from Deputy Jones, gangrene developed and he died of pneumonia on February 18, 1923. Deputy Harry Jones had previously served as a Follansbee Night Lieutenant for a year and a half. He also worked in the Follansbee Brothers mill for 18 years before entering law enforcement. Joseph Jones was convicted of and served time in the State Penitentiary at Moundsville.
- “Armed Man Holds Policeman at Bay” http://follansbee.info/press/FortWayneIndianaJournal-Gazette-1922-12-28.gif
- Steubenville Weekly Herald Star, “Deputy Dies of Wounds …,” March 1, 1923.
- Emma Cross Stoneking, “Deputy Dies of Wounds,” (This timeline received Stoneking’s notes from the Brooke County Genealogy Library, July 2011).
Picture Harry Jones. Photo courtesy of Brooke County Genealogy Society