NEW YORK – A police officer who dodged gunfire and stopped an armed holdup in a salon where she was getting her hair done was promoted to rank of detective on Tuesday. She shrugged off praise of her actions, saying it was just part of her personality to keep calm under pressure.
"I don't fuss about much," Feris Jones said after Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly pinned a detective's shield onto her uniform at a City Hall ceremony with Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Jones was promoted days after she calmly exchanged fire with an armed robber in a Brooklyn salon, shooting the gun out of his hand and firing the handle off the door, briefly delaying his escape. She and the other women in the salon were not hit.
Kelly praised her "stunning marksmanship" and "steely courage," while Bloomberg said she likely saved lives.
"Her quick thinking and sharp aim stopped an armed robbery, or worse," the mayor said.
Jones was off duty on Saturday, having her hair done at Sabine's Hallway Beauty Salon in Brooklyn, when the suspect burst in, brandishing a .44-caliber revolver.
Police said he demanded the four women in the salon give him their valuables. After Jones identified herself as a police officer, the suspect opened fire.
She fired back, shooting the gun out of his hand and the handle off the door.
The suspect, whose hand was injured, fled out a window but police later followed a trail of blood and arrested him early Monday.
Winston Cox, 20, was arraigned in a Brooklyn court Tuesday on charges including first-degree attempted murder, robbery and criminal possession of a weapon and was held without bail. His attorney and family members declined to comment.
Jones, 50, a Barbados native who has one 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.
She said she was finally able to finish getting her hair done Monday night.
Reporters at the City Hall ceremony repeatedly addressed her as "detective," but she wasn't used to the title yet.
"Can you just call me 'Jonesy?'" she asked.
Associated Press Writer Marcus Franklin contributed to this report.