PITTSFIELD, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts police officer who shot and killed a knife-wielding man in March acted in self-defense and will not face criminal charges, the district attorney announced Friday. Berkshire district, Andrea Harrington.
After a presentation of the evidence gathered by investigators, Harrington said his office concluded the officer tried to defuse the situation before using deadly force to defend himself.
Officers urged the man to drop his weapon, used de-escalation techniques and twice used stun weapons in an unsuccessful attempt to resolve the situation, Harrington said. The officer fired twice as the man moved quickly towards him a few feet away from him, she said.
An internal police report released in April concluded that the officer, a nine-year veteran, had followed department training and rules and was trying to protect himself, another officer and the victim’s companion.
Officers were responding to reports that the man was creating a disturbance and had attempted to injure himself.
Before announcing his decision, Harrington spent more than an hour on Friday reviewing testimony, video footage and forensic evidence collected at the scene.
Harrington called the man’s death “sad and tragic” and said it showed the need for improved community mental health services.