WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The Connecticut Office of the Inspector General released its preliminary report and multiple angles of body and dash cam footage and surveillance video Friday of a deadly officer-involved shooting in West Hartford.
Police attempted to stop a stolen Hyundai Elantra on New Britain Avenue around 5 p.m. Tuesday when the vehicle fled, prompting officers to use stop sticks, the inspector general’s office said. At the intersection of New Britain Avenue and South Street, investigators said the stolen Hyundai struck a silver BMW and then a blue Honda Pilot. After hitting the Honda Pilot, the vehicle became disabled, and Lyle Solsbury, 47, and Mike Alexander-Garcia, 34, took off.
Officers quickly apprehended Solsbury as Alexander-Garcia ran east on New Britain Avenue.
Police said Alexander-Garcia tried to carjack two vehicles as he fled to Town Fair Tire. The suspect got into a Toyota RAV4 in one of the garage service bays. The inspector general’s office said West Hartford K-9 police Officer Andrew Teeter entered the garage bay, deployed the K-9 into the Toyota, and entered the car’s passenger side.
The inspector general’s office said Teeter and the K-9 struggled with Alexander-Garcia in the car, which he backed out of the garage and drove out of the Town Fair Tire parking lot, striking two vehicles, including the K-9 police vehicle. As Alexander-Garcia continued to drive, Teeter fired his gun multiple times, striking Alexander-Garcia in the torso, the report states.
Alexander-Garcia was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The office of the medical examiner ruled his death a homicide.
WARNING: Some viewers may find this video disturbing. Discretion is advised.
Teeter sustained a broken rib and multiple cuts to his head, the inspector general’s office said. The K-9 was not injured.
News 8 spoke with Teeter in May after he and his K-9 played a crucial role in a mental health call.
Solsbury, a convicted felon with 30 prior arrests, appeared in court Thursday on multiple charges.
The Connecticut Office of Inspector General, Department of Emergency Services and Public
Protection Connecticut State Police Western District Major Crime Squad, and the West Hartford
Police Department are investigating.
Following the release of the inspector general office’s preliminary report and video, West Hartford Mayor Shari Cantor said, “Any loss of life is tragic in such a difficult situation.”
“The videos that have been released are undeniably hard to watch,” she said. “Thankfully, Connecticut has been a national leader in developing a fair, independent, and transparent system for investigating police-involved shootings. I am confident that our Police Department will work together with state authorities to ensure that a comprehensive and thorough investigation is conducted into this incident.”
West Hartford Police Chief Vernon Riddick said the department “greatly appreciates and respects the obligation of the Inspector General’s Office to release this video footage to the public.”
“This was a dangerous situation involving multiple attempted carjackings, and I encourage the public and media to review all of the details of what the Inspector General’s Office has released,” he said. “The West Hartford Police Department believes strongly in transparency, and in all facts being gathered and impartially evaluated. To that end, state law clearly places the Inspector General’s office as the lead investigative entity of this incident, and we will continue to fully cooperate with them as they conduct their work.”