Police shooting

State’s Attorney Finds Use of Force Justified in Fatal Willimantic Police Shooting

The Middlesex State’s Attorney investigated the fatal police shooting that killed a man who was accused of trying to carjack several cars and leading police on a chase that spanned from Norwich to Windham last year and found that the officers' actions were justified.

Norwich police said they were responding to reports of a possible break-in and on Broad Street in Willimantic at 10:48 a.m. on Feb. 20, 2019, and 39-year-old Kyron Sands, of Hartford, fled and shot at officers.

As Sands was running from police, he stopped in front of a green Toyota Camry. At gunpoint, he ordered the three women inside it to get out and drove off in the car, according to the Middlesex State’s Attorney.

Police lost sight of the car in Lisbon and Sands tried to carjack another vehicle, according to the report.

The stolen Camry was located in Norwich and a police dog followed a track to Interstate 395.

According to the state's attorney report, Sands tried to steal several vehicles at gunpoint and was able to steal a white Ford Edge and police chased the vehicle for 23 miles as Sands drove on Route 2, back onto I-395 and to Route 32, sometimes at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour.

State police laid out stop sticks along Route 32 in the area of the IGA supermarket in Windham and Sands drove over them and went off the road, according to the state's attorney.

Sands ran after the crash, continued to shoot at police and tried to break into a home, according to officials.

During the gun battle, Sands was shot and the office of the chief medical examiner determined he died of gunshot wounds of the head, torso and extremities.

The autopsy also revealed that Sands suffered superficial blunt impact injuries of the head and abrasions on his hands and knees, which would have been consistent with hitting his head on the windshield when the Ford Edge crashed into trees, according to the state's attorney. 

The state's attorney identified the law enforcement officers who were involved as Officer Christopher Nott, of the Norwich Police Department, Connecticut State Police Trooper First Class Robert Maurice, Officer Jonathan Lisee of the Willimantic Police Department, Corporal Keith Edele of the Willimantic Police Department and Connecticut State Police Trooper First Class Gregory Decarli.

"Mr. Sands’ death was a tragedy and I, on behalf of the Division of Criminal Justice, extend our condolences to his family and friends. In the situation presented, however, the officers’ actions in firing upon Mr. Sands were justified," Michael Gailor, state’s attorney for the Judicial District of Middlesex, said in a statement.

"Mr. Sands initiated the use of deadly physical force by firing upon an officer in Norwich. In trying to avoid apprehension, he stole two cars at gunpoint, attempted to steal several others, and fired at civilians. He then led police on a high speed chase only to exit the car with a gun and fire at the officers at that scene. At no time, did Mr. Sands surrender to authorities or demonstrate that he was no longer a threat to use deadly physical force. The Division of Criminal Justice will take no further action with regard to this incident," the statement goes on to say.  

You can read the full report here.

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