‘Never been violent:’ Family of 19-year-old killed in officer-involved shooting in West Haven speaks

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The family of 19-year-old Mubarak Soulemane, the man killed during an officer-involved shooting in West Haven, is speaking about their loss.

Connecticut State Police said Soulemane stole a ride-share car at knifepoint in Norwalk and then led police and then troopers on a chase, which ended when he hit traffic in West Haven.

The situation escalated to the point where Trooper Brian North used deadly force. Soulemane was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced deceased.

“My brother never even got to experience that college experience,” said Saeed Solemane said in a news conference held by New Haven clergy on Friday. “That’s all my brother wanted to do was go to college.”

Saeed and his family are grieving the loss of Soulemane.

Family also said Soulemane was a basketball star.

His uncle Tahir said the man had schizophrenia and had been picked up by the police in the past. He underwent treatment, and family said he never hurt anyone

“He has never been violent to anyone outside the house and at home,” Tahir said. “So, I just want you to get that. He has no criminal record.”

Black leaders are now calling for an independent investigation into circumstances of Soulemane’s death.

“Mr. Soulemane had a right to his day in court,” a man said during the press conference. “He had a right to answer to whatever happened in Norwalk. A crime was committed in West Haven. Let’s call it as it is.”

State police released body camera footage from the incident Friday evening.

North has been placed on administrative assignment during the investigation.

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