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'I’m in a nightmare' | Mother of Hartford man killed by Mass. Trooper seeks answers

The Hampden County District Attorney’s Office says William Tisdol, 48, of Hartford was shot after a foot patrol and gunfire exchange on Feb. 25.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Gloria Carter-Vaught of Vernon said her 48-year-old son, William Tisdol, had a past and paid for his mistakes. She said the father of seven from Hartford was the happiest he’s ever been before he lost his life a block away from MGM Springfield.

“I feel like I’m in a nightmare and I’m waiting for God to wake me up,” she told reporters Friday in downtown Springfield. “In 2023, we should not still be going through this.” 

Carter-Vaught, 65, said her son was having fun and winning at MGM Springfield on the early morning of Saturday, February 25. 

Massachusetts State Police Gaming Enforcement Unit said it was responding to a report of a man in the casino “acting aggressive to others and possibly armed with a firearm” around 2 a.m. Police said a foot patrol and gunfire exchange ensued. The confrontation left Tisdol dead and his family with questions.

“We know he was shot and killed. We know the police did it. We know he was unarmed. So, what we need here are answers. We’re not claiming anything. We just want some answers,” said Pastor Bruce Carter of Hartford, Tisdol’s cousin.

From obtaining a copy of Tisdol’s autopsy report to moving his body to Connecticut for a proper memorial, Carter-Vaught said she has run into roadblock after roadblock in the Commonwealth. 

“They pursued him and he wound up dead. If it is as cut and dry as they say it is. Why is there still and open investigation,” Carter-Vaught said.

This isn’t the first time the family has publicly sought answers from the police. 

Tisdol was vocal, appearing on Fox61, after his 14-year-old son, Caleb, was one of several juveniles shot by New Britain police in 2017 amid a carjacking investigation. 

“These kids are kids you know and humans. They were startled. The young fellow went to pull off and when he pulled off gunfire,” said now the deceased William Tisdol in 2017. 

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His son recovered and is now serving time in prison. 

The Hampden County District Attorney’s Office said it’s in the process of reviewing video footage, autopsy reports, and other evidence and will share the final product with Tisdol’s mother when it is complete in the coming weeks.

The family is also asking for the public’s help.

“Please come forward if you saw anything. Please. Please. We need answers,” Carter-Vaught said urging anyone in the area of the casino last month to contact the family.

Samaia Hernandez is a reporter for FOX61 News. She can be reached at shernandez@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


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