New Haven Police Officer Terminated

Officer Lawrence Burns was terminated by the Police Commission three months after firing his gun while off duty.

The New Haven Police Commission voted on Tuesday night to terminate Officer Lawrence Burns just three months after he was charged with firing his weapon while off-duty outside of a city bar.                        

The commission met behind closed doors for hours before coming to an agreement.

New Haven Police Chief Dean Esserman was present at the meeting. According to the New Haven Register, Esserman recommended that Burns be fired.

On April 1, Officer Burns was involved in an alcohol-fueled incident of gunfire outside of Christopher Martins Restaurant on State Street.

Officers Charles Kim and Krzystof Ruszczyk were also involved, according to police.

Burns and Kim were charged with interfering with police, reckless endangerment and illegal discharge. Ruszczyk is charged with interfering with police.

Six shell casings were found at the scene and it was later determined that five came from Burns' department-issued handgun. One came from a personal gun owned by Kim.

Officers Kim and Ruszczyk struck a deal in which the city would hold off on termination if they agreed to take unpaid leave. They had previously been on paid leave. Burns turned down the offer and decided to take his chances with the board.

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