WARNING: The videos below contain graphic footage that some may find disturbing. Viewer discretion is advised.
The Tolland State’s Attorney has released body camera footage from a deadly police-involved shooting in Hartford on Friday.
Hartford Interim Police Chief Jason Thody said a traffic stop took a dangerous turn after the suspect, later identified as 41-year-old Alphonso Zaporta, drove off, attempting to get on Interstate 84 West on the on-ramp off Capitol Avenue.
Thody said Monday that the case involved more than a routine traffic stop, it was part of an investigation into gun-related activity.
Police said officers were eventually able to stop the car using stop sticks during construction traffic congestion.
Once stopped, police said they approached the vehicle on foot and the only passenger in the car exited and surrendered.
The officers were in plainclothes, but were identifiable, according to the police chief. Five officers were on scene when the shooting occurred and three of those officers had body cameras, which were recording, according to police. All three videos were released, though the state’s attorney said parts of the footage were edited out of respect for Zaporta’s family.
The cameras do not recall audio until one minute in, officials noted.
The videos appear to show Zaporta struggling with police. During the struggle, Zaporta gained control of one of the police officer's firearms, police said. In the video the officer can be heard shooting “he’s got my gun, he’s got my gun.”
A different police officer, identified as Detective Zack Sherry, then fired multiple rounds at Zaporta. Zaporta later died from his injuries, according to police.
Sherry has since been placed on paid administrative leave. He has been a police officer in Hartford for 14 years and has no sustained citizen complaints and no disciplinary history, according to police.
Police said a separate loaded firearm, which was reported stolen from Springfield, Massachusetts, was located on Zaporta's driver's side floor.
City leaders said the release of the video establishes transparency as the investigation into the shooting continues.
"I believe you will see in these videos what we have seen which is that following the attempt to stop this vehicle as an officer approached the drivers door the officer was attacked by the driver. There was attacked by the driver," Bronin said.
Connecticut State Police and Tolland State's Attorney are now in control of the investigation.
Zaporta's family said they are still coming to grips with what happened and that they believe his life was taken in vain.
”I really, really want answers as to why my son was shot down...so, I am here right now to, hopefully, seek those answers," Olivia Richard, the victim's mother, said.
According to state judicial records, Zaporta had one conviction for operating a motor vehicle while suspended in 2014.
”Like any normal child, teenager, man, they all have problems. My son had run ins with the law several, many times, plenty times, but overall my son’s heart was bigger than life itself," Richard said.
Richard said the videos still don't tell the full story of what happened the night her son died.
"The video shows that there is people all over the place and they're on top of my son then all I hear is three shots," she said.
Richard plans to hire her own attorney to investigate the shooting.
Police said the last deadly officer-involved shooting in the city was in 2012.
Anyone with information is asked to call police at 860-896-3230.