Cops Helped Keep Shooter Alive

Thomas Breen PhotoOfficers grabbed a fleeing man who had allegedly just shot at a cop. Then they kept him talking and applied first aid until medics could arrive on the scene.

That twist emerged Thursday in the still-unfolding story about what happened in Kimberly Square Tuesday evening.

The incident fell under the category of an “officer-involved shooting.” That means a cop fired at a suspect.

State police — who are investigating the incident, protocol for these cases — reported that detectives had spotted a 22-year-old wanted man on Lamberton Street at 5:44 p.m. They caught him; he broke free and ran. In a driveway, an “exchange” of gunfire took place, with an officer’s bullet hitting the man in the pelvis. (Update) He kept fleeing, but officers eventually caught him and arrested him, according to the state police. He was charged with possession of an unlicensed firearm; the warrant was for a reckless endangerment charge. He had no prior felony convictions. As of Friday, he remained in the hospital after receiving two surgeries. He is currently in stable condition. (Click here to read about what witnesses saw.)

Many details remain unknown, and will remain unknown until the state investigation concludes.

However, the detail about the life-saving role of the cops emerged publicly Thursday at the weekly police “CompStat” date-sharing meeting, where officers were recognized for how they attended to the suspect at the scene.

Cops from throughout the city converged on the Hill Tuesday evening once an “officer needs assistance” call went out on the police radio. They stationed themselves throughout Kimberly Square as the hunt was on for the suspect.

Several officers found him and handcuffed him. They noticed him bleeding from the stomach.

“I’ve been shot,” he told them.

Training and instinct kicked in. The officers kept the man talking and applied first aid to slow the bleeding. They kept him stable until an ambulance crew arrived. The arrestee was then taken for treatment to the hospital, where he was later listed in “critical but stable” condition.

“I really was moved to know that the value that we try to instill in officers for all, including those who try to hurt us, is being taken to heart,” Police Chief Anthony Campbell said after the CompStat meeting. “These officers went above and beyond what is required by them. I think this is a testimony to their humanity and the morality which all New Haven police officers have in abundance.”

While officers were commended for assisting the suspect, New Haven cops have been focused more on the work of one officer in particular, Detective Francisco Sanchez of the Criminal Intelligence Unit.

Sanchez had an eventful day Tuesday: Earlier that afternoon he was part of an undercover team looking for a different suspect, and he found that suspect downtown. A multi-town chase ensued (including a stretch on the Tweed New Haven Airport tarmac), ending in the man’s arrest.

Then, in Kimberly Square, Sanchez, a seven-year veteran, was among the cops who caught up with the 22-year-old suspect. Sanchez was the one who fired the shot at the suspect and hit him in the stomach.

As is customary in these cases, he and the other officers present have been put on administrative duty in the wake of the traumatic incident.

“The true hero here,” remarked one of the many cops involved in Tuesday’s events, “is Detective Sanchez.”

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posted by: Samuel T. Ross-Lee on January 10, 2019  7:25pm

Is a person who has actually shot a police officer, (by that I mean actually hit the officer with a bullet from a gun), and someone who has shot AT a cop (but NOT hit the officer with the bullet) the same thing? 

If they are not, then the person in this story is not a “cop-shooter” as the title claims.  He is merely someone who attempted to shoot a cop and missed.

[Paul: Headline changed. Thanks.]

posted by: JohnDVelleca on January 10, 2019  8:05pm

And this is the rogue police department that is so out of control that it desperately needs a strong civilian review board?  I call bulls**t, sorry…Great job Frank and all of the other cops involved.

posted by: Hartman13 on January 11, 2019  2:11am

Mr. Ross-Lee, Respectfully, there is nothing “merely” about someone who shoots at a cop - or anyone else, for that matter.

posted by: observer1 on January 11, 2019  6:24am

This individual consciously took out a gun, pointed it at a police officer, and pulled the trigger causing the gun to fire a bullet. What conclusion does any intelligent person come to. Was he firing a warning shot? I think not. The logical conclusion was that this person was trying to become a cop killer. Looked at in that context, the police were very professional in how the incident was handled. Let us call this incident what it was, an attempt to kill a police officer. No whitewash please.

posted by: publikskooled on January 11, 2019  8:38am

mr ross-lee, if a person is stupid and desperate enough to shoot AT a cop, are they at that point NOT looking to be shot?
maybe im reading into your remark, but if i shoot at a cop, im looking to be killed.
in my honest opinion, if you shoot at a cop,if you come at a cop with a knife, sword, or even a speeding car- you’ve given up all rights to claim police brutality.
just my humble opinion.

posted by: Samuel T. Ross-Lee on January 11, 2019  10:09am

Hartman13, While I understand the implicit sensitivity expressed in your comment toward any potential shooting victims, I still maintain that any one of them would prefer to be “merely” shot at than to being “actually” shot.

Publikskooled and Observer1: I will give your comments only as much attention as they deserve.

posted by: Wooster Squared on January 11, 2019  11:19am

@Samuel T. Ross-Lee

A man tries to kill a police officer and the NHPD manages to subdue him without killing him, and your concern is that the newspaper is treating the shooter too harshly? Gosh, I wonder why New Haven is having such a hard time holding on to officers.

I agree with Hartman13, there’s no “merely” when someone tries to murder someone else.

posted by: narcan on January 11, 2019  1:11pm

I am, for the first time reading the comments of NHI, dumbfounded. Would we still refer to a person who failed to kill anyone at a place of education as a “school shooter”?

Arguing of whether or not a career criminal who, with malice in their heart, drew an illegally possessed firearm and attempted to murder a guardian of the community deserves to be called a “cop shooter” is engagement of the most paltry semantics I can imagine.

posted by: thecove on January 11, 2019  1:40pm

All who may be second guessing the police action here….An individual who shoots (or shoots at) a cop is twice as dangerous to the unarmed public. Remember that if you ever decide to leave your armchairs.

posted by: Bill Saunders on January 11, 2019  3:15pm

Clearly an undiagnosed case of ‘trigger finger’....

posted by: Kevin McCarthy on January 11, 2019  7:37pm

On an entirely different note, I understand why an officer who shoots at anyone is put on administrative leave as a matter of policy. But the other officers present?  Absent prima facie evidence of misconduct, I don’t see the rationale for this and suspect this policy contributes to the NHPD’s overtime costs.

posted by: 1644 on January 12, 2019  5:55am

It’s noteworthy that the officer fired only one shot.  With the exception of the taser use in the convenience store, NHPD seems commendably restrained in its use of force.  Most of the time in incidents like this, “neutralizing the threat” means every officer present empties his magazine into the suspect.  Kudos for fire discipline.

posted by: JohnDVelleca on January 12, 2019  2:40pm


    Hi Kevin, administrative leave is more about the mental health of the officers involved and a mandated period of stress decompression more than it is about defining their conduct.  The peripheral officers will be back to their regular assignments in a matter of days.  Their leave will not be for an extended period and it shouldn’t have any affect on overtime (especially since these guys are not patrol officers, therefore their absences won’t have to be filled).

posted by: fcastle1984 on January 16, 2019  9:55pm

Just because the profession is listed as a dangerous profession, there’s no expectation one has to not respond to someone shooting at them.

Even citizens are afforded the right to protect themselves.

Some of the comments here are downright lunacy.