Harris County jailer died in the line of duty during struggle with inmate

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- The Harris County Sheriff's Office says a detention officer has died of natural causes in the line of duty. It happened during an altercation with an inmate.

Tronoski Jones died at about 4am Thursday after dealing with a combative inmate at the Baker Street Jail. Sheriff Ron Hickman says the inmate reportedly became argumentative and combative while being moved from one area back to his cell.

"We have no indication of any outward injury as a result of the conflict with the inmate," said Sheriff HIckman. "Although the inmate was combative, we don't know at any point whether that contributed to his death."

Sources tell Eyewitness News that pepper spray used during the altercation may have played a role in the deputy's death. The sheriff says it's impossible to know the exact cause until an autopsy is complete.

Officer Jones joined the Harris County Sheriff's Office in November 2011. He is survived by his wife and two children, his mother and a number of siblings.

"Any time we suffer a loss in the line of duty, the collective law enforcement community rally to support the family and loved ones of the fallen officer," said Sheriff Hickman.

An investigation into the circumstances surrounding Jones' death is underway. No outward signs of an injury were visible, said the sheriff. However, the department would not elaborate beyond that the cause of death was natural.

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