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Wash, set, and shoot: Cop takes on gunman in beauty salon

From Julie Cannold, CNN
Det. Feris Jones was praised for shooting the weapon from a gunman's hand.
Det. Feris Jones was praised for shooting the weapon from a gunman's hand.
  • An off-duty cop getting her hair done stopped an attempted robbery
  • Kelly says Jones showed "steely courage"
  • The officer had never fired her weapon in the line of duty in 20 years of service

New York (CNN) -- A New York police officer getting her hair done over the weekend thwarted a would-be robber in a beauty salon, shooting the weapon from the gunman's hands, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said in awarding the officer a promotion.

Kelly praised the actions of newly promoted Det. Feris Jones Tuesday, saying she "showed the steely courage and professionalism that epitomizes the finest traditions of the New York City Police Department."

"Well done and congratulations," the commissioner said as he pinned a gold detective shield to Jones' uniform.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg also expressed his gratitude at the news conference.

"This officer, like the other officers that are out there every day, really do take care of us," he said.

Kelly said Jones was a customer in a salon Saturday when a man walked in with a gun.

"'This is no joke, this is a robbery. I will kill you,"' Kelly quoted the gunman as saying.

After the man ordered the customers and employees into the bathroom, Jones reemerged with her weapon drawn, identified herself as a police officer, and told the man not to move, Kelly said.

The suspect fired four shots at Jones, narrowly missing her head with one, the commissioner recounted. She fired five shots back -- emptying her service revolver and marking the first time she'd ever fired her weapon in the line of duty -- and hit both of the man's hands, causing him to drop his 44-caliber gun.

Her shots also knocked the handle off the door of the salon, briefly trapping the man as he tried to escape, Kelly said. He eventually broke the window in the door and fled on foot.

"She knew the gunman might shoot, and when he did, she was ready for him, demonstrating stunning marksmanship in the process," the commissioner said.

"To describe Officer Jones as cool under fire would be a gross understatement," he added.

"That's my personality. I don't fuss about much," Jones responded modestly, asking reporters to address her as "Jonesy" instead of Detective Jones.

The new detective said she got her start in the department when her then-husband brought home an application for the force because he "liked the coverage and medical benefits."

The accused gunman was arrested Monday, police said. Winston Cox, 19, is charged with attempted murder, attempted aggravated robbery, and criminal possession of a weapon.