Officials find use of deadly force in 2019 Willimantic officer-involved shooting case justified


WILLIMANTIC, Conn. (WTNH) — After a lengthy investigation conducted by Connecticut police and the Middlesex State’s Attorney, they have concluded that the use of deadly force upon 39-year-old Kyron Sands in the February 2019 Willimantic officer-involved shooting has been justified.

Mr. Sands’ death was a tragedy and I, on behalf of the Division of Criminal Justice, extend our condolences to his family and friends. In the situation presented, however, the officers’ actions in firing upon Mr. Sands were justified. Mr. Sands initiated the use of deadly physical force by firing upon an officer in Norwich. In trying to avoid apprehension, he stole two cars at gunpoint, attempted to steal several others, and fired at civilians. He then led police on a high speed chase only to exit the car with a gun and fire at the officers at that scene. At no time, did Mr. Sands surrender to authorities or demonstrate that he was no longer a threat to use deadly physical force.

Michael A. Gailor, State’s Attorney, Judicial District of Middlesex

RELATED: Officials ID man killed following car chase, officer-involved shooting in Willimantic

According to Connecticut State Police, the car chase that originated in Norwich and ended in Windham was for a call of a suspect that shot at police and was heading towards Willimantic. Authorities said the suspect was 39-year-old Kyron Sands, who police say had allegedly attempted to carjack several cars and shot at civilians before leading police on a chase on Interstate 395.

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39-year-old Kyron Sands

RELATED: Family of suspect killed in Willimantic police shooting speaks out

Sands has a lengthy criminal history, including a 2015 guilty plea for assaulting a police officer. Sands was out on parole for that case when he allegedly tried to break into a woman’s house in Norwich last year with a gun.

The family of Sands reached out to News 8 after the incident and said Kyron Sands had a history of mental illness, but he was a caring, giving man who had made a positive impact on the community.

“He was getting better,” said Miller, the longtime friend. “He was a work in progress.”

Officials concluded their investigation after analyzing the actions of officers involved and the circumstances of the incident. In the end, they found the officers’ use of deadly force justified.

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