CSAO: Report on the Death of Carnell Williams

Report of the State’s Attorney for the Judicial District of Litchfield Concerning the Use of Deadly Force by Police Officers Resulting in the Death of Carnell Williams in Bridgeport on November 25, 2013

PREFACE | CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE INCIDENT | REPORT OF THE CHIEF MEDICAL EXAMINER | FORENSIC EVIDENCE | LAW REGARDING THE USE OF DEADLY FORCE | CONCLUSION | FOOTNOTES | APPENDICES

PREFACE

On Monday, November 25, 2013, four Bridgeport police officers exercised deadly force which resulted in the death of Carnell Williams in the city of Bridgeport.

Section 51-277a of the General Statutes provides that, whenever a peace officer in the performance of his or her duties, uses deadly physical force upon another person and such person dies as a result thereof, the Division of Criminal Justice shall cause an investigation to be made and shall determine whether the use of deadly physical force was appropriate under Section 53a-22 of the General Statutes . In accordance with these statutes, the State’s Attorney for the Judicial District of Fairfield caused such an investigation to be conducted by the Connecticut State Police Western District Major Crime Squad, in conjunction with the Connecticut State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Squad, the Forensic Science Laboratory of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, and the Office of the State Medical Examiner.

The State’s Attorney for the Judicial District of Fairfield made a request of the Chief State’s Attorney that another office be assigned to investigate the incident. Pursuant to Section 51-277a(b) of the General Statues, the Chief State’s Attorney designated this State’s Attorney for the Judicial District of Litchfield to assume responsibility for the investigation on January 6, 2014.

The investigation is concluded and this report represents my findings and legal conclusions. I wish to extend my condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Carnell Williams on the loss of their loved one.

CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE INCIDENT

On Monday, November 25, 2013, the Connecticut State Police Statewide Urban Violence Cooperative Crime Control Task Force (herein after, Task Force) coordinated efforts with the Bridgeport Police Department to monitor and conduct a controlled buy of firearms from a female then identified as “Kiki”, later identified as Kiarra Davis. Sergeant Jason Amato, an officer with the Bridgeport Police Department and the Task Force, had received information from a confidential informant that a female known as “Kiki” wanted to sell two firearms for $750.00. The investigation revealed that Ms. Davis was associated with Samuel Dejesus, a convicted felon and inmate at Bridgeport Correctional Center who was incarcerated in lieu of bond while charged with narcotic related offenses. Mr. Dejesus gave instructions to Ms. Davis to sell his two firearms for $750.00 in order to obtain the funds to post his bond. Ms. Davis and Mr. Dejesus were also associated with a male known as “Nay Nay”, later identified as Carnell Williams. [1]

Officer Everton Walker, an officer with the Bridgeport Police Department and the Task Force, made contact with Ms. Davis via cell phone posing as the buyer and made arrangements to meet with her in order to purchase the firearms. The Task Force and members of the Bridgeport Police Department Detective Division held a briefing regarding the operation. Sergeant Amato briefed the officers and advised them that Ms. Davis may be reluctantly bringing along a male known as “Nay Nay”, whom she described as “crazy”, to assist her. The actual identities of “Kiki” and “Nay Nay” were not known to police at this time.

A total of twelve Bridgeport and Task Force officers were involved in this operation. Members of the Task Force included Sergeant Jason Amato of the Bridgeport Police Department, Officer Everton Walker of the Bridgeport Police Department, Detective David Edwards of the Connecticut State Police, and Department of Correction Officer Rene Figueroa. Bridgeport Police Detectives included Detectives Christopher Borona, Michael Fiumidinisi, Sean Ronan, James Borrico, and Dennis Martinez. Canine Officer Mark Martocchio of the Bridgeport Police Department was at the scene, as well as Sergeant Robert Kenney of the Connecticut State Police. Lieutenant Kevin Gilleran of Bridgeport Police Department was assigned to the canine unit and responded to the scene shortly after the incident occurred. All of the officers involved gave statements regarding the incident and all statements are included in their entirety in Appendix A . [2]

Arrangements were made by Officer Walker to meet with Ms. Davis on November 25, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. at a particular location, which was later changed by Ms. Davis to the Burger King in the Bayview Plaza, 193 Boston Avenue, Bridgeport. The Task Force plan was to have Officer Walker meet Ms. Davis in the parking lot, display the cash to her, and request to see the firearms. After confirming a firearm was in the vehicle, Officer Walker would then walk away and signal to the other officers at which time officers would converge on the vehicle and take the party into custody.

Task Force teams utilized unmarked cars and were arranged as follows: Sergeant Amato, Detective Edwards, and Officer Figueroa were in a silver Chrysler; Detectives Borrico, Martinez, and Ronan were in a black Lincoln; Detectives Fiumidinisi and Borona were in a white Chevy Tahoe; Officer Walker was in a silver Mercedes; and Sergeant Kenney was in a black Toyota Camry. On stand-by in the area was Canine Officer Martocchio in a marked police cruiser. Sergeant Amato and Detective Edwards wore identifying exterior Police gear. Detectives Borona and Borrico wore a Police badge around their necks. Detective Ronan wore a Police badge on his exterior coat. Detective Fiumidinisi wore a Police badge on his belt.

Officers were pre-positioned in the Bayview Plaza prior to the scheduled meeting. When Officer Walker entered the parking lot, he called Ms. Davis who gave him instructions about where to park. Officer Walker complied and waited for further instruction. During this time, another car in the parking lot with several males inside was identified as possibly being associated with Ms. Davis. After waiting for an extended period of time, Officer Walker made several attempts to contact Ms. Davis but she did not respond. Eventually, Ms. Davis sent Officer Walker a text instructing him to turn off his headlights and Officer Walker complied. Officer Walker then called Ms. Davis and told her he was leaving because he did not believe she was going to meet him. Ms. Davis told Officer Walker that she was inside Burger King. The officers who had a view inside Burger King did not see anyone matching her description inside. Officer Walker began to drive away and Ms. Davis called him and instructed him where to park. Officer Walker followed her instructions. Ms. Davis then called Officer Walker again and told him to turn off his headlights. Officer Walker told Ms. Davis he was leaving because he was not comfortable. At this point, Ms. Davis disclosed her actual location and vehicle to Officer Walker. Ms. Davis originally told officers that she would be driving a black Honda, however she was actually operating a gold Nissan Altima. Several officers stated they were concerned that Ms. Davis’ actions were putting Officer Walker in danger, as she appeared to be stalling the buy, concealing her identity, and concealing her location.

Upon instruction from Ms. Davis, Officer Walker approached the passenger side of the vehicle. The passenger window was rolled down about halfway and Officer Walker could communicate with the parties inside. Ms. Davis was the driver and the male passenger was later identified as Carnell Williams. There was a colloquy at the car and Ms. Davis told Officer Walker that the passenger was her protection. Mr. Williams brought a very large revolver type weapon up to about the height of the dashboard and he held the revolver by the handle with the muzzle pointing down. Officer Walker stated that he could see the rear of the cylinder and noticed that there were bullets inside the weapon. Based on his observations, Officer Walker believed the firearm was loaded. Officer Walker moved away from the vehicle and gave the predetermined signal to the Task Force members watching, indicating that a firearm was present in the vehicle.

At that point, unmarked police vehicles moved into positions in an attempt to prevent the parties from fleeing. Officers got out of their vehicles with their guns drawn and approached the vehicle, identifying themselves as police officers in loud voices. According to Officer Walker’s statement, he yelled to the officers that it was the passenger that had the gun and it was loaded. Detective Borona heard officers yelling “GUN GUN GUN”. Detective Borrico heard Officer Walker yell “GUN”. Detective Ronan heard Officer Walker yell “HE HAS A GUN IN HIS HAND”. Officers at the passenger side of the vehicle yelled that the passenger had a gun in his hands. Multiple commands were given for Mr. Williams to show his hands and drop his weapon. He did not comply. The parties were also ordered to shut off the car and open the door. They did not comply with this command either. Detective Borrico attempted to open the passenger door but it was locked and the window was up. Detective Borrico then unsuccessfully attempted to break the window with his handgun.

During this time, Officer Walker and Detectives Borrico, Ronan, and Borona saw a great deal of movement within the vehicle and the vehicle appeared to be rocking slightly. Mr. Williams was observed to be moving frantically in the interior and appeared animated within the vehicle, twisting his body around in the passenger seat to look in all different directions. Detective Borrico observed the silhouette of Mr. Williams holding a very large handgun, waving it as he held it above his shoulders and pointing it in the direction of Detectives Borrico, Ronan, and Borona as if he was looking to take a shot in an effort to escape from the scene. Detective Borona saw Mr. Williams moving and looking around within the vehicle with a large revolver in his hand. Detective Ronan observed Mr. Williams holding a large handgun in his hand that was being held above his shoulders and saw him look backwards over his left shoulder in the direction of Officer Walker. Detective Ronan then saw Mr. Williams turn clockwise to Detectives Borona, Borrico, and Ronan and level the gun in their direction. Multiple officers described hearing a shot fired followed by a series of shots. Officers did not know if it was Mr. Williams or officers firing. The subsequent investigation revealed that police officers fired the initial shots and following shots. Officer Walker stated that he heard a gunshot and simultaneously Detective Borrico appeared to disappear from his sight. Officer Walker believed Detective Borrico had been shot. Officer Walker and Detectives Borona, Borrico, and Ronan fired multiple shots at the vehicle.

The vehicle then moved forward through the parking lot at a high rate of speed. The vehicle ultimately got hung up on a curb in the same parking lot and came to a stop. Sergeant Kenney stated approximately ten seconds elapsed from the time he exited his vehicle as he heard officers yelling “Police” until the vehicle ultimately came to rest.

The parties got out of the vehicle. Mr. Williams attempted to run, then fell to the ground. When Canine Officer Martocchio saw Mr. Williams begin to flee, he released the canine to apprehend him. Mr. Williams was moving and twisting his upper body on the ground and his hands were beneath him and not visible. Detective Borona ordered Mr. Williams to show his hands numerous times, however he did not comply and continued to move on the ground with his hands beneath him. At this time, Detective Borona believed he was without cover and without any officers to assist him and feared Mr. Williams still had his weapon and was attempting to retrieve it to use it. Detective Borona discharged his firearm in the direction of Mr. Williams approximately twenty feet away. The police canine then made an apprehension of Mr. Williams. After the canine was called off, Mr. Williams still refused to remove his hands from his waist area in order to allow handcuffs to be placed on him. Ultimately, Mr. Williams was handcuffed and transported to Bridgeport Hospital where he later expired.

The driver, Ms. Davis, sustained a non-life-threatening gunshot wound to her face at some time while she was still in the vehicle. Mr. Williams sustained several gunshot wounds, one of which caused his demise.

A civilian, Edward Vari of Boston Avenue, Bridgeport, provided a sworn written statement. He stated that he was exiting the Burger King Restaurant located on Boston Avenue in Bridgeport on November 25, 2013 in the early evening hours when he observed approximately six officers with their guns drawn in the direction of a tan car. Mr. Vari stated that there were three officers on the driver’s side and three on the passenger side. He recognized their clothing to be identifiable with Bridgeport Police Officers. He heard the officers identifying themselves as police and ordering the parties out of the car. Mr. Vari saw the driver’s side window lower and he heard a loud bang, then heard numerous other bangs and stated the gunfire happened very fast. Mr. Vari stated the tan vehicle accelerated and appeared as though it was attempting to exit the parking lot but stopped after striking the handicap sign. Mr. Vari observed officers run up to the vehicle and open the driver’s door and the passenger’s door. A few officers assisted the driver out of the vehicle and placed the driver face up on the pavement. Mr. Vari noted the officers assisted the driver into a seated position and used handcuffs. Mr. Vari stated that the driver was male and was yelling that he was hurt and yelled for an ambulance. [3] Simultaneously, the other officers were tending to the passenger, however, Mr. Vari could not see the passenger from where he was standing. The officers stayed with the driver and were tending to him until the ambulance arrived.

Subsequent to the event, members of the Western District Major Crime Squad conducted an investigation including a canvass of the Bayview Shopping Plaza. Mr. Vari was found to be the only civilian witness with relevant information.

This State’s Attorney’s office reviewed all radio transmissions between the officers before and after the incident and found them consistent with the officers’ statements.

Detectives obtained surveillance videos from Price Rite, Chase Bank, United Check Cashing, and Burger King. No other businesses were found to have surveillance cameras covering the location of the incident. The video from Price Rite was of no evidentiary value due to the distance from the incident and lighting of the scene. The video from Chase Bank did not show the location of the incident and therefore was of no evidentiary value. The video from United Check Cashing was aimed at the main door and vestibule, however a portion of the exterior sidewalk and a portion of the parking lot could be observed through the glass doorway. The video captured a portion of a tan-colored vehicle, later identified to be operated by Kiarra Davis, drive quickly through the parking lot, followed seconds later by a marked Bridgeport Police cruiser, later identified to be operated by Officer Martocchio. The surveillance video from Burger King revealed a portion of the incident was within the frame of the video in the peripheral corner of the screen. Although not all of the scene was captured on video, the portion that was available was consistent with several officers’ statements regarding the location of the vehicles and officers’ movements throughout the incident. The video also offered an independent view of the length of time of the incident, as well as the high rate of speed at which the vehicle drove away from the officers through the parking lot. The video revealed that approximately 28 seconds elapsed between the time an officer exited the white Chevy Tahoe that officers had driven in front of the Nissan Altima to the time the Nissan Altima began moving forward. A total of approximately 33 seconds elapsed between the time that officer exited the white Chevy Tahoe and the time at which the vehicle drove out of the frame of the surveillance video. This evidence was consistent with officers’ statements.

The Western District Major Crime detectives seized the following items as evidence: a black nylon type backpack located on the front passenger compartment floorboard of the vehicle; an unloaded revolver (Ruger .357 Magnum revolver GP100 Serial Number 170-07050) located on top of the backpack; [4] another unloaded revolver (Smith & Wesson .38 Special revolver CTG Serial Number D799973) located inside the backpack; five copper colored cartridges stamped “Winchester 38 SPL” located inside the backpack; and one copper colored cartridge stamped “Federal 357 Magnum” located inside the backpack. The Division of Scientific Services examined the firearms and known samples of Mr. Williams’ DNA. The results indicated mixed DNA on the firearms. Mr. Williams was identified as being a source of DNA on the handle grip area of both firearms, and the cylinder and cylinder latch release area of the .357 Magnum revolver. Both firearms were found to be operational.

Investigators examined the duty weapons that were fired in this incident. By comparing total ammunition capacity for each gun plus the round in the chamber to the rounds remaining in the gun, investigators determined the maximum possible number of rounds fired by each gun. The maximum possible rounds fired by the officers were as follows: two rounds by Officer Walker’s gun (Smith & Wesson .45); six rounds by Detective Ronan’s gun (Smith & Wesson .45); eight rounds by Detective Borona’s gun (Smith & Wesson .45); and nine rounds by Detective Borrico’s gun (Springfield Armory .45). The maximum possible number of rounds that could have been fired was 25 rounds. Detectives recovered 24 shell casings from the scene.

Detectives from the Western District Major Crime Squad interviewed Ms. Davis on November 25, 2013 at approximately 9:40 p.m. at St. Vincent’s Hospital Emergency Room in Bridgeport. The interview was audio recorded. When questioned regarding the incident, Ms. Davis stated she “was in the wrong place at the wrong time”. Ms. Davis stated she and her male friend “Nay Nay”, were in a parking space in the Burger King parking lot on Boston Ave in Bridgeport at about 6:30 p.m. that evening. Ms. Davis was driving her gold Nissan Altima and “Nay Nay” was in the front passenger seat. She saw a white van drive up and multiple police officers exit the van. Although she did not remember the officers to be in uniform, she recognized them to be “cops”. Ms. Davis stated she stepped on the gas when the rear of her car was bumped but she was not trying to “run”. The officers then fired at her car. Ms. Davis stated she did not fire a gun and she did not have a gun in her hand. Ms. Davis believed the situation to be a set-up by someone other than the police. She stated “at the end of the day it all falls on me” and she has to “own this”. When questioned about the reason she and “Nay Nay” were at Burger King that evening, Ms. Davis stated she did not want to talk about that. When asked if there was a firearm in her car, Ms. Davis stated she did not want to talk about that. Ms. Davis did not elaborate on why she had to “own this”.

After her release from the hospital, Ms. Davis instructed the police to contact her attorney. The Connecticut State Police made several unsuccessful attempts through her attorney to arrange an interview with Ms. Davis. Ultimately this State’s Attorney’s Office intervened. This State’s Attorney extended an offer of use immunity to Ms. Davis through her attorney. Nevertheless, Ms. Davis declined to be interviewed further.

Both Kiarra Davis and Samuel Dejesus were arrested and prosecuted for their involvement in the November 25, 2013 gun sale. The cases were prosecuted in the Judicial District of Fairfield independently of this office.

On December 18, 2014, in the Judicial District of Fairfield, Ms. Davis entered a plea of Nolo Contendere to Attempt to Commit Illegal Transfer of a Pistol or Revolver in violation of Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) Section 29-33; Illegal Possession of Weapons in a Motor Vehicle in violation of C.G.S. Section 29-38; Attempt to Commit Firearms Trafficking in violation of C.G.S. Section 53-202aa, and Attempt to Commit

Assault on a Police Officer in violation of C.G.S. Section 53a-167c. Ms. Davis was sentenced on February 27, 2015 to fifteen years execution suspended after five years incarceration, followed by five years of probation.

On January 28, 2015, in the Judicial District of Fairfield, Mr. Dejesus pleaded guilty to Attempt to Commit Illegal Transfer of a Pistol or Revolver in violation of C.G.S. Section 29-33, Attempt to Commit Firearms Trafficking in violation of C.G.S. Section 53-202aa, and Conspiracy to Commit Illegal Transfer of a Pistol or Revolver in violation of C.G.S. Section 29-33. Mr. Dejesus was sentenced on March 27, 2015 to fifteen years execution suspended after seven years incarceration, followed by five years of probation.  

REPORT OF THE CHIEF MEDICAL EXAMINER

Chief Medical Examiner Dr. James Gill conducted a post-mortem exam of Carnell Williams. Dr. Gill documented five gunshot wounds. One perforating gunshot wound is described as a wound to the trunk, the bullet entering the mid back, perforating the right lung and exiting through the chest. This wound is reported as the cause of death. Another perforating gunshot wound is described as the bullet entering the left lower back and exiting the left shoulder. This bullet did not enter the thoracic cavity. The report states this wound did not cause vital injury. The autopsy report also documents a penetrating gunshot wound of the right shoulder, a perforating gunshot wound of the upper right arm which did not cause vital injury, and a penetrating gunshot wound of the right hand which did not cause vital injury.

Bite marks consistent with a dog were noted on the decedent’s right leg.

A blood sample drawn from Mr. Williams during the autopsy was analyzed and revealed Delta-9 THC (marijuana) at 2.7 ng/ml.

The cause of death was listed by Dr. Gill as gunshot wound of trunk. The manner of death was listed as homicide (shot by police).

FORENSIC EVIDENCE

The Western District Major Crime Squad examined the vehicle and completed a Bloodstain Pattern Analysis report. Detectives identified two connected bloodstain saturation patterns on the forward edge of the left rear passenger seat of the vehicle. A visual inspection of those areas revealed a translucent mucous like substance within the patterns. In this area, detectives also identified blood consistent with expirated patterns which are attributed to blood expirated from an airway. A portion of this area was sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory of the Connecticut Division of Scientific Services for examination. The forensic biologist who analyzed the sample documented that the sample gave a positive result for human blood. The sample also gave a positive result for the presence of amylase, a component of saliva. A forensic criminalist from the laboratory analyzed the sample and a known blood sample of Mr. Williams for DNA comparison. The results were consistent with Mr. Williams being the source of the DNA profile of the sample.

Detectives also identified bloodstain patterns on the interior portion of the front passenger door, as well as drip patterns on the asphalt pavement adjacent to the right front quarter panel and front passenger door of the vehicle at its final rest position.

The Bloodstain Pattern Analysis report indicated bloodstains on the dashboard near the glove box in the front passenger compartment of the vehicle contained several small, circular voids that appeared consistent with bubble rings which result from air in the blood. Bloodstains containing bubble rings were also identified on the transmission console and emergency brake handle in the vehicle. Additionally, in the interior portion of the front passenger compartment on the passenger door panel, detectives identified bloodstain patterns most consistent with expirated blood, which result from blood forced by airflow out of the nose, mouth or a wound.

This State’s Attorney’s Office reviewed the Bloodstain Pattern Analysis report submitted by the Western District Major Crime Squad and agrees with its conclusion that the forensic evidence inside the vehicle is consistent with an airway injury. The report of the Chief Medical Examiner describes one wound affecting Mr. Williams’ airway. That perforating gunshot wound is described as a bullet entering the mid back, perforating the right lung and exiting through the chest. This is the wound identified as causing the demise of Mr. Williams. A reasonable inference is that this lung injury is the only injury that would result in blood and amylase substance attributed to Mr. Williams and expirated blood from an airway. Furthermore, bloodstain patterns located on the inside of the front passenger side door and on the asphalt adjacent to the front passenger door indicate that Mr. Williams was injured while he was inside the vehicle.

The Forensic Science Laboratory also examined all 20 metal projectiles recovered from the incident. Of those 20 projectiles, 11 were further examined for possible DNA evidence. The extracted DNA from the projectiles were compared to known samples of Mr. Williams’ DNA. The results were consistent with Mr. Williams being the source of the DNA on four of the projectiles. Two of those four projectiles were recovered from penetrating wounds of the decedent. One projectile was located northwest of the vehicle’s passenger side front tire. The other projectile was located outside the passenger side of the vehicle in a pile of clothing that was cut from Mr. Williams during medical attention. The fatal wound is a result of a perforating bullet, however the forensic evidence does not definitively identify which bullet caused that wound, therefore, it is not able to be determined which officer fired the fatal shot.

LAW REGARDING THE USE OF DEADLY FORCE

Section 53a-22(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes permits a police officer to use deadly physical force upon another person when he reasonably believes such to be necessary to defend himself or a third person from the use or imminent use of deadly physical force. The test to determine reasonableness is both subjective and objective. First, the officer must believe that the use of deadly force is necessary to defend himself or another from the imminent use of deadly physical force. Second, the belief must be objectively reasonable. State v. Smith , 73 Conn. App. 173, cert. denied, 262 Conn. 923 (2002). The burden is on the state to disprove beyond a reasonable doubt the elements of self-defense as set forth in section 53a-22. State v. Smith , supra, 73 Conn. App. at 185-86.

The test is not whether it was in fact necessary for the officer to use deadly physical force in order to defend against the imminent use of deadly physical force. The test is whether the officer believed it was necessary to use deadly physical force and whether such belief was objectively reasonable, based on the facts and circumstances known to the police officer at the time the decision to use deadly force was made. See State v. Silveira , 198 Conn. 454 (1986), State v. Adams , 52 Conn. App. 643 (1999).

The United States Supreme Court has explained this test in a civil rights case: “The ‘reasonableness’ of a particular use of force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on scene rather than with the 20/20 vision of hindsight. . .The calculus of reasonableness must embody allowance of the fact that police officers are often forced to make split-second decisions - in circumstances that are tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving—about the amount of force that is necessary in a particular situation.” Graham v. Connor , 490 U.S. 386 at 387 (1989). “The appropriate inquiry is whether the officers acted reasonably, not whether they had less intrusive alternatives available to them.” Scott v. Henrich , 39 F.3d. 912, 915 (9 th Cir. 1992).

In examining the number of shots necessary to end the public safety risk, the United States Supreme Court has explained: “It stands to reason that, if police officers are justified in firing at a suspect in order to end a severe threat to public safety, the officers need not stop shooting until the threat has ended.” Plumhoff v. Rickard , 134 S.Ct. 2012 at 2022 (2014).

CONCLUSION

The accounts given by all of the officers involved regarding the events surrounding the shooting of Carnell Williams are corroborated by the seized evidence, the civilian witness statement, the surveillance videos, the radio transmissions, the forensic analysis, the bloodstain pattern analysis, and the postmortem examination findings.

The evidence establishes that on November 25, 2013 in the Bayview Plaza, officers came in contact with Mr. Williams during a controlled buy of firearms originally arranged between Ms. Davis and Officer Walker. Mr. Williams came to the arranged meeting as protection for Ms. Davis and Ms. Davis had previously told the officers she may be bringing a man who was crazy. Mr. Williams was sitting in the passenger seat of the vehicle, holding a revolver that Officer Walker believed to be loaded. Multiple officers observed Mr. Williams waving the gun above his head and moving around significantly within the vehicle. Mr. Williams refused to follow repeated police commands to open the door, show his hands, and lower his firearm. Instead, Mr. Williams leveled the firearm in the direction of police officers. Mr. Williams’ behavior caused a threat of lethal harm to the safety of all of the officers involved. At this point, Officer Walker and Detectives Ronan, Borrico and Borona resorted to the use of deadly force. Mr. Williams sustained several gunshot wounds, one of which caused his demise. The total time of the incident, from the time Officer Walker gave the signal to the time the vehicle came to rest, was less than one minute. The forensic evidence confirms that the wound resulting in the cause of death was inflicted while Mr. Williams was inside the vehicle. When interviewed by police, Ms. Davis refused to answer questions related to the gun sale; however, she did indicate that she recognized the individuals who exited the van to be police officers.

It is the conclusion of this State’s Attorney that Officer Walker and Detectives Ronan, Borrico, and Borona believed the use of deadly physical force was necessary to defend themselves and their fellow officers from the imminent use of deadly physical force. It is further concluded that their belief was objectively reasonable. Therefore, I have determined that Officer Walker and Detectives Ronan, Borrico, and Borona were justified in their use of deadly physical force upon Mr. Williams, and that such force was appropriate under section 53a-22(c) of the General Statutes . Accordingly, no further action will be taken by the Division of Criminal Justice.

Respectfully submitted,

DAVID SHEPACK
State’s Attorney
Judicial District of Litchfield

Dated: May 19, 2015

FOOTNOTES

[1] Carnell Williams was identified by his Connecticut photo identification card in his wallet located at the scene and fingerprints obtained by the Office of the State Medical Examiner.

[2] Cell phone numbers have been redacted.

[3] The driver was, in fact, a woman later identified as Kiarra Davis.

[4] Appendix B  

APPENDICES

Appendix A - PDF Format, Size 619K

Appendix B



Content Last Modified on 5/20/2015 8:55:57 AM