Officers Justified in Fatal Shooting of Suspect in Hartford in January: State's Attorney

NBC Connecticut

Law enforcement officers were justified in shooting and killing a suspect during a police task force operation on January 6, 2021, according to a report by New Haven State's Attorney Patrick Griffin.

Members of the "Violent Gang Safe Streets Task Force" decended on Enfield Street that morning, in an attempt to arrest a man wanted on a federal arrest warrant for a violation of parole.

The task force is made up of FBI agents and local police officers.

As the officers moved in to arrest the suspect, a second man who was with him jumped into a Jeep Gladiator and tried to take off. That person, later identified as Benicio Vasquez, backed the Jeep into an unmarked police vehicle, before driving up on the sidewalk to get around other vehicles and driving away down Enfield Street, the report stated.

Vasquez then crashed the Jeep head-on into an FBI Chevy Tahoe and was eventually boxed in by a second police vehicle.

Vasquez got out of the Jeep and briefly put his hands in the air before turning and running from the scene with officers giving chase, according to the report.

During the chase, Vasquez turned and fired a gun at the officers, the report stated. FBI agent Frederick Reeder and New Britain police detective Christopher Kiely fired nine times at Vasquez, killing him.

The state's attorney concluded both officers reasonably believed their lives were in danger and were justified in using deadly force against Vasquez.

Contact Us