Video: Conn. Police's Violent Fight with Gunman Leaves Officer Wounded

Dec. 5, 2023
Video footage and a preliminary report were released concerning an incident in which a West Haven police officer was shot in the leg during a struggle with a suspect being taken into custody.

By Justin Muszynski

Source Hartford Courant

The Connecticut Office of Inspector General on Tuesday released body camera footage from an officer-involved shooting in West Haven last week and identified the man who was killed after he shot an officer in the leg.

The footage, released in conjunction with the Inspector General’s preliminary report on the shooting, shows officers with the West Haven Police Department asking 33-year-old Jovan Washington to put on a pair of pants before he is taken into custody Friday in an apartment on Terrace Avenue when he suddenly reaches under a mattress and grabs a firearm.

Officers had been called to the apartment at 1:55 a.m. in connection with a domestic violence complaint in which a woman alleged that Washington tried to strangle her and would not let her leave the apartment, according to the preliminary report. Police found Washington in bed in a bedroom in the apartment and asked him if he wished to put on a pair of pants before he was taken into custody, the bodycam footage shows.

Washington can be seen in the footage facing a closet when he suddenly turns back toward the bed, reaches under the mattress and grabs a handgun. Officers immediately struggle with Washington to wrestle the gun away before one shot is heard, according to the footage.

An officer calls out “shots fired, shots fired” as police continue to struggle to get the gun away from Washington, at which point three more shots can be heard before Washington grimaces in pain, the footage shows. The struggle over the gun continues for several more seconds as officers yell “drop the gun, drop the gun, drop it.”

One more shot can be heard before an officer is able to grab the firearm away from Washington, who continues to groan in pain, the footage shows. An officer can be heard saying “I’m hit.”

According to the Inspector General’s preliminary report, Washington fired one shot during the incident, striking West Haven Officer Cody Bacon in the leg. Officer Alex Triscritti then shot Washington multiple times during the struggle, the report said.

Officers provided medical aid to Washington before medics arrived and took him to Yale New Haven Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to the report.

Bacon was also taken to the hospital and treated for a gunshot wound to his upper leg.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined Washington died of gunshot wounds to his torso and extremities and ruled the death a homicide. The Inspector General said Tuesday the toxicology report for Washington is not yet available.

The state Office of Inspector General, in accordance with the police accountability law, will investigate to determine if Triscritti’s use of deadly force was justified. The investigation is being assisted by the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, Connecticut State Police Central District Major Crime Squad, West Haven police and the Ansonia-Milford Judicial District State’s Attorney’s Office.

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©2023 Hartford Courant.

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Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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