The Middlesex state’s attorney has released a preliminary report on the investigation into the fatal shooting of a teenager by a state police trooper earlier this month.
According to the report released Thursday, an autopsy determined Soulemane’s cause of death was gunshot wounds of the torso and extremities and the manner of death a homicide.
State police normally investigate officer-involved shootings, but the Division of Criminal Justice took over the investigation over the weekend because it was a state trooper involved. The case was reassigned from the New London State’s Attorney’s Office to the Middlesex State’s Attorney’s Office due to caseload concerns.
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.