PROSPECT, Conn. (WTNH) — A police officer shot and killed a man wielding a knife Friday in Prospect, the Connecticut Office of the Inspector General said Tuesday.
The office said Prospect Police Officers David Terni and Jonathan Slavin responded to a home on Merriman Lane around 4:55 p.m. Friday for a “possible disturbance.” When they arrived, they spoke to a neighbor who said he heard “suspicious noises” from the home.
According to the report, Slavin went to the back house while Terni approached the front. The report said that one of the front windows had been dislodged, allowing an opening into the house. When asked what happened to the window, the woman inside said, “Mike did it.”
At that time, 48-year-old Michael Strenk opened a kitchen drawer and removed a knife, the report said. In the body camera video released by the office, Terni can be heard ordering Strenk to drop the knife. Strenk then threw the knife in the officer’s direction, the report said, passing through the open window, missing Terni.
WARNING: Some viewers may find this video disturbing. Discretion is advised.
The report said Strenk then charged Terni with another knife in his right hand. According to the office, Terni fired two shots, both striking the man. Strenk was pronounced at the scene.
The chief medical examiner’s office determined that Strenk died of a gunshot wound to his head, and the manner of death was determined to be a homicide.
According to court records, Strenk has been convicted of assault, larceny and violating probation.
Prospect Mayor Robert Chatfield (R) said he believes the footage shows that the police and town are trying to be transparent about the shooting.
“I think the people saw in the video the danger the police officer and the mother were in,” he said.
Terni has been a police officer in Prospect for less than a year but was an officer in another town for decades, Chatfield said, adding most of the Prospect Police Department is made up of officers who have retired from another town.
The Office of Inspector General, the Department of Emergency Services and Public
Protection, Connecticut State Police Eastern District Major Crime Squad and the Waterbury Judicial District State’s Attorney’s Office are investigating the shooting.