Florida policeman sacked after fatal shooting

Protesters pray on October 22, 2015, during a rally after Florida drummer Corey Jones was killed by police officer Nouman Raja, who was fired by the city of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, on November 11 (AFP Photo/Diego Urdaneta)

Miami (AFP) - A Florida policeman who shot dead a black musician as the victim returned from a concert last month has been fired from his job, officials said.

The October 18 killing of Corey Jones, 31, a respected drummer, sparked outrage amid growing attention on police violence against African Americans.

Jones was driving home from a gig when his car broke down along a highway.

Palm Beach Gardens city police officer Nouman Raja, who was on duty but wearing civilian clothes at the time, approached the car, believing it was abandoned.

Raja shot Jones when he saw he was armed, according to police. An attorney for Jones's family has said the gun was purchased legally.

"Officer Raja, a probationary employee with the city, has been terminated from employment effective Wednesday, November 11," a city statement said, adding that an independent criminal investigation into the shooting is ongoing.

The family of the victim welcomed Raja's sacking but now wants him to be held criminally liable.

"Through all of the sorrow and pain that accompanied Corey's death, our family is encouraged by the multitude of well-wishers who have reached out to us during this difficult time," a family statement said.

"It is obvious that Corey touched many lives and for that, we will be forever grateful."