A NHPD officer exchanged gunfire with a man on Tuesday Jan. 8 in New Haven’s Hill South neighborhood, as the man fled the police, NHPD Chief Anthony Campbell said at a press conference three days after the incident.
The man who was shot was 22-year-old Marcus Rivera, a New Haven resident. According to WTNH, Rivera was wanted by the Connecticut State Police. Campbell referred to Rivera as a “suspect,” but did not specify Rivera’s charges. According to Campbell, at around 5:44 p.m., Rivera engaged officers in a foot pursuit. He was eventually apprehended, but then managed to break free and continued to flee the officers, Campbell said. Campbell added that an exchange of gunfire then took place between the officers and Rivera. He did not say who shot first. Campbell identified the officer involved as seven-year NHPD veteran Francisco Sanchez of the criminal intelligence unit.
“An officer-involved shooting is one of the greatest fears that any law enforcement official faces as part of being in this profession,” said Campbell.
The officers eventually took Rivera into custody without any further incident on First Street and Greenwich Avenue. At that time, officers also discovered that Rivera suffered gunshot wounds to the pelvis area.
According to Campbell, Rivera was immediately provided with first aid by officers, and then transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital to be treated for gunshot wounds. Rivera underwent two surgeries. After the first, he was declared in critical — but stable — condition. After the second, he was listed in stable condition.
“I’m thankful that the officers involved were not physically injured, and that the suspect survived his injuries,” Campbell said at the conference.
The New Haven Police Department did not respond on Sunday to questions from the News.
The scene of the incident, which covers a large area, was secured and “properly and thoroughly documented,” said Campbell. Campbell said that the scene impacted many homes and business in the area. Per protocol “whenever an officer is involved with the deadly use of force,” Campbell immediately called New Haven State’s Attorney Patrick Griffin.
“Thank God our cops acted swiftly because it could have been a lot worse,” said NHPD Assistant Chief Otoniel Reyes at the scene, as captured and published by NBC Connecticut.
At 6:30 p.m., the Connecticut State Police and Western District Major Crime Division, per request by the New Haven State’s Attorney’s office, took over the investigation. According to Campbell, the Department “has cooperated and will continue to cooperate” with the State Police.
Sanchez was working in concert with a group of officers, who were also pursuing Rivera. Sanchez and the other officers present during the shooting were transported to Yale-New Haven for evaluation, and have since been placed on administrative duty, per protocol when an officer is involved with the use of deadly force. Campbell said at the press conference that the additional officers would “not name the other officers today.”
“This incident has profoundly affected the officers involved, the department and the entire community,” said Campbell.
Campbell said that the department is working with the Employee Assistance Program to provide services and assistance to the officers and their families as they “process the trauma” that accommodates being involved with the use of deadly force.
Internal Affairs will be conducting a parallel investigation largely dependent on the investigation conducted by the State Police investigation.
Sammy Westfall | firstname.lastname@example.org .