HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The Connecticut Office of the Inspector General is investigating after a Hartford police officer shot and killed an armed suspect, according to Mayor Luke Bronin.
Police responded to Barbour and Westland streets around 2 p.m. Monday for the report of armed individuals in a vehicle who were threatening others.
After the officers pulled the silver Honda over, the suspect got out of the passenger’s side and walked toward the back of the car before the officer got out of his patrol car, Bronin said.
“As the officer approaches the vehicle, you can see in the video, this individual’s arm with a handgun in and appears to fire at the officer,” Bronin said. “There’s an exchange of gunfire.”
The suspect was taken to a hospital, where Bronin said he died from his injuries. The officer was not injured.
“I’m deeply grateful that our police officer is uninjured,” Bronin said. “He could very easily have been killed today.”
Investigators have not yet identified the suspect or officer involved. However, they clarified on Tuesday that the suspect is a man in his 40s.
“There’s lots more to learn about the incident,” the mayor said. “We will share everything we can as we can. This is a difficult and painful thing for our community.”
News 8 spoke to Pastor A.J. Johnson with the Urban Hope Refuge Church, who said his wife pulled into the church’s parking lot just seconds after shots were fired.
“She seen gentleman laying literally right here on the corner of our church,” Johnson said. “She saw an officer running down the street and realized that it was an active shooting situation.”
“The officer acted honorably,” Archbishop Dexter Burke with Walk in the Light Church of God said. “He not only protected himself but a community.”
Bronin said the driver of the Honda is on the run after ditching it in Hartford. Investigators are looking into a potential connection to a call of a gun shown at a car dealership earlier in the day Monday.
Community activists applauded city officials for releasing information within hours after the shooting.
“I think they did a decent job making the community aware of what the situation was, Johnson said. “Nobody likes it.”
“They were very transparent right from the onset,” Burke said. “I think it’s something I hope will serve as a model for other events should they happen. I think by doing that, it brings peace. It kind of shows right away what was happening and stops some of the rumors going around that were already starting that an officer killed another Black man. A strong critic of the Hartford Police Department and advocate for my people, I believe it helped.”
Bronin said body camera video will be released as soon as possible.
The video below is from News 8 at 4 p.m. on Oct. 16, 2023.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.