Cop in hair salon shooting promoted to detective

October 26, 2010 3:25:25 PM PDT
The hero cop who stopped an armed robbery at a beauty salon is being promoted to detective.

NYPD officer Feris Jones was getting her hair done at a salon in Bedford-Stuyvesant on Saturday when the attempted robbery took place.

Jones exchanged gunfire with the suspect, and the result was cinematic: Jones managed to both shoot the suspect's gun out of his hand and the handle off the front door, briefly blocking his escape.

After following a trail of blood, police arrested the alleged robber, Winston Cox, shortly after midnight Monday at a flophouse. He remained hospitalized with hand injuries.

Jones, 50, a Barbados native and divorced mother of an adult child, had never fired a gun in the line of duty during her two-decade police career. Officials described her as a respected member of the force, most recently assigned to the crime lab.

The botched robbery began around 6:30 p.m. Saturday after employees buzzed a nervous-acting woman into Sabine's Hallway Beauty Salon, a narrow shop with three styling chairs. She asked a few questions about services and left the door ajar - on purpose, police now suspect.

The alleged gunman burst in moments later with a .44-caliber revolver raised.

"This ain't no joke!" witnesses recalled him shouting. "This is a robbery! I will kill you!"

The 19-year-old Cox ordered the four women in the salon - Jones, another patron, the owner and an employee - to put their valuables in a black bag he was carrying as he herded them into a back bathroom, police said. When he went to retrieve the owner's handbag on a counter in the middle of the salon, Jones pulled out her off-duty five-shot revolver, held it at her side and told the other women, "Everyone get down."

Police said Jones faced off with Cox at a distance of about 12 feet and identified herself as a police officer. They say Cox responded by opening fire. The officer shot back.

His four shots missed. Her five rounds disarmed him and disabled the door.

Cox picked up his pistol and tried to flee but found himself trapped, police said. He was forced to kick out a window and crawl out to the sidewalk.

Responding to a 911 call from Jones giving a description of the suspect, police launched a manhunt using bloodhounds. It led them to his mothers' nearby home, where they found a bag holding stolen wallets and his blood-spattered gun, police said.

Several hours later, investigators tracked him down at the hotel. He answered the door of his room with his right hand wrapped in a makeshift bandage of paper towels.

Asked whether he was injured, police said, he responded: "She shot me in the hand."

Cox is charged with attempted murder and robbery.

(The Associated Press contributed to this article.)