Connecticut State Police are investigating an incident in Bridgeport in which police officers shot a would-be thief multiple times after he lunged at officers with a knife.
State police said shortly before 9 p.m., a security guard from the University of Bridgeport said a man was spotted trying to break into an unmarked Bridgeport Police Department vehicle that was parked on Atlantic Street near the intersection with Lafayette Street.
Police were immediately notified of what was taking place, and an officer and security guard spotted the man, at which time a chase ensued.
During the foot chase, the man took out a knife and began to threaten the pursuing officers.
More officers were requested and responded to assist in the chase.
At that point, state police said, the man entered a small vestibule at an apartment on Atlantic Street, and officers deployed their Tasers and cap-stun several times in an attempt to subdue the armed man using less-lethal force. However, nothing was effective on him, police said.
The man continued to threaten and lunge for officers with the knife, at which point officers shot the man multiple times.
The man was finally subdued and was brought into custody, but he continued to fight with EMS workers who were trying to administer emergency care, police said. The man was brought to Bridgeport Hospital, where he underwent surgery and is currently listed in critical condition.
The man was identified as Michael Stinson, 35, of Bridgeport.
The Bridgeport State's Attorney's Office and Bridgeport Police Chief requested that the Connecticut State Police Western District Major Crime Squad investigate the shooting incident.
Some of the officers were injured, but none of their injuries are believed to be life-threatening.
Bridgeport Police Chief Joseph Gaudett Jr. said that while the shooting will remain under investigation, he feels as though the shooting was justified.
"Based on the information before us, Thursday's police involved shooting appears to be completely justified," he said in a statement. "These officers followed their training and showed great restraint. They fired their service weapons as a last resort after the armed suspect lunged at them even after officers attempted to subdue him with a department Taser and pepper spray. The officers are understandably shaken up. They have my support and the support of this department."
The names of the officers involved in the shooting have yet to be released.
People who live in the neighborhood told Eyewitness News that they are lucky not many people were around.
"There so many people in this area," said resident Ronald Cohen. "It's very dangerous especially with kids. That's real bad."
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