HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – The New Haven State’s Attorney’s Office has determined that two officers involved in a deadly use of force incident in Hartford were justified.
On Jan. 26, 2021, around 9 a.m., members of the FBI Northern Connecticut Violent Gang Task Force were serving a federal warrant to Brandon Spence on Enfield Street.
When Spence was being taken into custody, New Britain Police Detective Christopher Kiely and FBI Special Agent Frederick Reeder encountered Benicio Vasquez.
Vasquez was reportedly trying to flee the scene and officials said that he was seen leaning over the center console. One of the officers reported he feared that Vasquez was trying to retrieve a weapon.
Vasquez was ordered to show his hands and as Reeder approached the car, Vasquez revered the car and struck a detective’s vehicle. Vasquez then pulled away and nearly struck Reeder.
Vasquez was again ordered to stop and officials reported that he then accelerated in the direction of Reeder and nearly struck him.
After a brief car and foot pursuit, Vasquez was seen with his hands in his front pockets and was ordered to remove his hands. The officers on the scene said that Vazquez’s motions were consistent with someone attempting to pull a gun from their sweatshirt pocket.
Instead, Vasquez again ran. Kiely saw Vasquez withdraw a gun from his pocket before Vasquez turned toward the officers, pointed the gun, and fired it.
The officers then fired back at Vazquez, striking and killing him.
The New Haven State’s Attorney’s Office determined that the use of deadly force was justified and no further action will be taken by the Division of Criminal Justice. Both beliefs and actions by Kiely and Reeder were subjectively and objectively reasonable.
The autopsy results of Vasquez were consistent with the officer’s description of the incident.
The state’s attorney’s office report that there were no body-worn cameras at the time of the incident.