Amarillo Police Shoot Faith City Mission Student Who’d Taken Gun Away From Hostage-Taker in Chapel

The Amarillo Police Department is investigating the circumstances surrounding an officer-involved shooting Wednesday morning in which a Faith City Mission student was wounded while in possession of a gun he wrestled away from a suspect.

Police said the initial call just before 9 a.m. referenced an armed suspect holding approximately 100 people hostage in the mission’s chapel.

APD Special Crimes Unit investigators believe responding officers entered at two entrances to the building at 401 S.E. Second Ave. and, according to an APD news release, came into contact with the Faith City Mission student with a gun in his hand.

One or more officers fired shots at the student, who had wrestled the gun away from the hostage-taker. The student was hit and taken to a local hospital by ambulance.

Faith City Mission Executive Director Jena Taylor said the student, who was not identified, had surgery Wednesday but was in stable condition and remains hospitalized.

“One of our staff members visited the student that was shot and he is resting well after surgery,” Taylor said.

No other injuries were reported.

Police identified the initial gunman who was taken into custody at the scene as Joshua Len Jones, 35, of Amarillo. Police said Jones was booked into the Potter County jail on six charges of aggravated kidnapping.

Taylor said Faith City’s head of security noticed Jones, a regular guest, leave chapel service after going through security protocols and followed to investigate.

Taylor said the security official observed Jones returning with a gun and immediately alerted chapel service attendees to evacuate before the gunman was confronted.

“Members of the security team took the gunman down and one of our students was able to wrestle the gun away,” she said. “Our thoughts are with our injured student and we praise God for his protection while honoring the heroic actions of our security team, students and everyone else involved — which prevented the situation from becoming far worse.”

Taylor said Faith City’s head of benevolence worked with the Amarillo Salvation Army to accommodate the mission’s clients while students have been transported to another campus branch.

She said therapists would be available on-site Thursday to assist with post-trauma counseling efforts.