WEST HAVEN – A suspect is dead following a pursuit with State Police. It started when authorities say a man with a knife stole a car from someone at an AT&T store in Norwalk.
State Troopers pursued the stolen vehicle to West Haven. The car got off the exit 43 ramp ending up under the bridge on Campbell Avenue.
“Seconds later we heard a car crash,” said a witness who did not want to be identified. “Seconds after that we heard multiple gunshots.”
Gunshots that left the suspect dead. This witness was driving to the store with his mother when they saw the stolen vehicle come off the exit ramp. Traffic under the bridge led to a collision with a blue SUV.
“Then the state trooper blocked them off. They came out the car with their guns drawn and that’s when gunshots went off,” said the witness.
“An altercation occurred at that time. Some shots were fired and the suspect was struck by some gunfire,” said Colonel Stavros Mellekas of the Connecticut State Police.
The events were a shock to witnesses who say they heard multiple shots fired.
“We saw gunshots and the flair from the gun. We didn’t know what was going on. It was hectic. We just want to get out of there,” said the witness.
The shots were fired by a state trooper. State Police say three officers were on scene. Two of which had body cameras.
State Police had joined the pursuit that began in Norwalk. The suspect was armed when he stole a white SUV leading police on a chase down I-95 north. State police say the driver collided with multiple troopers and pedestrian cars along the way. They found a knife in the car.
“We are very fortunate that our personnel was not injured,” said Colonel Stavros Mellekas.
It is unknown if the suspect ever left the vehicle before shots were fired. The New London State Attorney and the Central District Major Crimes Unit are investigating the incident.
“I wish things could’ve happened differently,” said the witness. “I wasn’t there. I don’t know what happened on their part but it shouldn’t have to result in somebody dying.”
State Police said this information is preliminary and more information will be coming Including body camera and cruiser footage. The suspect involved has not been identified. The officers involved are on paid leave while an investigation occurs.