DA: Pa. police officer Jon Cousin staged his own shooting
Investigators said that Cousin, who was initially reported to have been shot during a traffic stop, actually lodged a bullet into his own vest.
The case of a police officer reportedly shot while on duty in Chalfont took a surprising turn when the results of an investigation released yesterday revealed he allegedly staged the whole thing.
Reports rolled in that an officer identified as Jon Cousin, 32, was shot around 3:15 a.m. Monday morning by a man who got out of a car during a traffic stop and opened fire.
Cousin can be heard on police scanner recordings reporting a suspicious car with three to four occupants in the parking lot of the Lenape Valley Swim Club. As he describes the vehicle to the emergency dispatcher, he yells, "Get back in the car!" sparking a radio request for an officer assist. "I've been hit in the chest. I think my vest stopped it," Cousin then says as he begins to breathe heavily. "Dispatch, get a medic here, please?"
According to an affidavit, a New Britain Township Officer arrived first and found Cousin conscious and lying on the ground next to his patrol vehicle. He told that man and other officers that he was shot by a passenger in the vehicle and that he returned three shots from his service weapon.
Cousin was rushed to Abington Memorial Hospital. Roadblocks were set up and authorities launched a massive manhunt for the burgundy Cutlass Sierra with no tags in which the shooter allegedly fled.
But officials with the Bucks County District Attorney's Office said yesterday that their investigation didn't result in charges against any men involved in a vehicle stop. In fact, they said there was no vehicle stop – Cousin allegedly fabricated the incident and has quickly gone from the victim of the crime to its supposed perpetrator.
Suspicions were raised when investigators found no marks in the gravel from the suspect's reported vehicle and the only casings they recovered from the scene had been fired from Cousin's service weapon. Despite his claim that he was shot in his vest at close range, Cousin was not bruised.
Investigators said that embedded in Cousin's vest was a .380 caliber Corbon Pow'RBall bullet. No casings matching that bullet were found on the scene. But a search of Cousin's home did turn up in his bedroom a Ruger .380 – loaded with Corbon Pow'RBall bullets. A ballistics analysis determined that the bullet in Cousin's vest had been fired from that gun, which is registered to Cousin, according to the affidavit.
Investigators believe Cousin fired a shot from that gun into his own bulletproof vest when he was at home and later put the vest on, drove to the swim club and fired three shots in the air with his service weapon. His motive for allegedly staging the scene is unknown.
Cousin is charged with filing a false report, possessing an instrument of crime, disorderly conduct and reckless endangerment. He is being held at Bucks County Prison on $150,000 bail.