A 911 phone call placed Jones and a group of men in the area of Saginaw and Thorne in Central Fresno. The caller said a handgun was in clear view.
Jones is at Community Regional Medical Center in serious but stable condition. He was shot in each leg and in the shoulder.
Residents who knew Jones and the Chief of police said he was recently thrown out of his house after an argument with his wife.
"The suspect replied, 'Yes, I have a piece,'" said Fresno police Chief Jerry Dyer. Dyer said one of his officers shot 41-year-old Vernal Jones after the man refused to show a metal object in his hand three times.
"Placing his left hand up in the air in this fashion however only partially only raising his right hand in this fashion," Dyer said.
Terry Warrie saw officers shoot Jones outside her door in her Central Fresno apartment.
"He said he didn't have no gun. They told him to put his hands out of his pocket several times and he wouldn't put his hands outside of his pocket," Warrie said.
Shortly after midnight Friday a caller told a 911 operator that a group of men was standing on the corner of this subdivision and someone had a gun.
Investigators said when police responded Jones was in the group and quickly walked away.
That's when he was confronted by police. Warrie told police and Action News Jones was in her house 30 minutes before the shooting. "He was telling me about his family issues with his woman and his kids."
Investigators said Jones recently attacked his wife with a hatchet and he told Warrie he was upset he had been thrown out of his home.
"Had told her he was having problems with his wife and he was not getting any respect from his wife and kids and that he was going to do something about that," said Dyer.
After the shooting detectives recovered this box cutter they said came from Jones. Chief Dyer said Jones apologized to detectives.
"Suspect Jones told detective Benson that he takes responsibility for his actions and felt the officers did what they had to do," Dyer said.
Police are still looking for a handgun and believe someone in Jones's group who ran off may have it. Jones faces three charges: assault with a deadly weapon, resisting arrest and violation of a restraining order.
The name of the officer who shot Jones will not be released for a week. He is on paid leave until the investigation is complete.