The Roane County sheriff's deputy killed in a hail of gunfire in what investigators have tabbed an ambush slaying got his law enforcement start in Cumberland County after having served in the Vietnam War.

Billy Birl "Bam Bam" Jones, 53, a sergeant with the sheriff's department, and his best friend and ride along partner, Mike Brown, were shot to death in a rural community near Midtown. Two brothers are in custody in connection with the shooting.

Jones is the son of Christine Jones of Crossville. He has a daughter, Megan Jones, who also lives in Crossville. A son, Jeremy Birl Jones, is in the U.S. Navy stationed in Virginia Beach, VA, and is also formerly of Crossville.

He is also survived by his Crossville sisters and brother, Susan Rittenberry, Rose Marie Cherry, Oscar Ray Jones and Lynn Kaye Inga and her husband, Eden.

Court officer Gene White remembered Hall working with the Crossville Police Department in the early '80s and recalled one occasion when the then-patrolman came into contact with an armed and extremely intoxicated man.

"The man had a gun in Bill's face and was threatening to shoot him," White said prior to Criminal Court Friday where he now serves as a court officer. "Bill reached up and grabbed the gun just as the man pulled the trigger. The skin between his finger and thumb kept the hammer of the gun from hitting the firing pin. "I'll never forget that."

Others remembered a police officer who was strictly law enforcement when on duty.

Jones worked with both the Crossville Police Department and the Cumberland County Sheriff's Department in the late '70s and early '80s before moving to the Rockwood Police Department where he rose to the rank of sergeant. He also had worked as a sergeant with the Harriman Police Department and had reportedly been with the Roane County Sheriff's Department for about a year.

Jones was a member of Mountain View Baptist Church in Crossville.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday, May 17, at 8 p.m. from the Roane State Community College gymnasium in Rockwood. Graveside services will be held Thursday, May 18, at 2 p.m. in Oak Grove Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Bill Jones Memorial Fund in care of Bank of America, Rockwood, TN 37854.

Please see the accompanying story about the shooting and the full death notice in this edition.

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