Inspectors from the Division of Criminal Justice will lead the investigation into the officer-involved shooting in West Haven, where a man was killed on Wednesday.
The inspectors from the Division of Criminal Justice are assuming control of the investigation from Connecticut State Police Central District Major Crime Squad. The investigation is being overseen by the New London State's Attorney, according to officials.
According to police, Norwalk police officers responded to a report of an armed carjacking in their city around 4:36 p.m. Norwalk police noted in their BOLO that the driver was armed with a knife.
State troopers responded when they received reports that the suspect vehicle, a white Hyundai, was driving recklessly on I-95 north. Police noted that State Police Pursuit policy allows for the pursuit of a stolen vehicle if the person in the vehicle “has committed, is attempting to commit or will imminently commit a crime of violence (actual or threatened), or there are articulable exigent circumstances that warrant the need to apprehend the suspect in a timely manner because of the potential for harm to the public if apprehension does not occur.”
During the chase, the suspect vehicle hit two State Police cruisers before exiting off the highway onto Campbell Avenue in West Haven. According to police, the suspect then struck a civilian’s vehicle before being boxed in by State police.
State police and West Haven police tried to get the driver out of the car, first using a stun-gun, which did not work. When the driver showed a weapon, a trooper on scene fired his gun, hitting the driver. The weapon, a knife, was recovered from the vehicle, police said.
The driver, later identified as Soulemane, was taken to Yale New Haven Hospital where he died of his injuries.
The troopers involved in the incident have been identified as Trooper Brian North, who has been with the department for 4 and a half years, Trooper Joshua Jackson, who has also been with the department 4 and a half years, and Trooper First Class Ross Dalling, who has been with the department for 7 and a half years.
Police said North was the only one to fire his weapon. He has been placed on administrative assignment, per department policy.
"The Division of Criminal Justice, and, in particular the State's Attorneys, are well aware of the concerns that have arisen concerning the investigation of the use of deadly force by a Connecticut State Police trooper. In fact, the State's Attorneys in recent months had already initiated discussions on the best practices for conducting such an investigation," acting Chief State's Attorney Russotto said in a statement.
Police inspectors are experienced law enforcement officers who have arresting powers. The police inspectors work with the State's Attorneys to prepare homicides and other criminal cases for prosecution and investigative work in specialized units of the Office of the Chief State's Attorney, according to authorities.