Bodycam footage shows Connecticut shooting knife-wielding man who was rushing at officer

1 month ago

Police body camera footage shows a man rushing at an officer with a large kitchen knife in each hand before the officer opened fire in Bridgeport last week, according to a preliminary report released by the Connecticut Office of Inspector General.

The report released Monday by Connecticut Inspector General Robert Devlin Jr. identifies the policeman who fired his gun as Bridgeport Police Officer Israel Colon and the knife-wielding suspect as 49-year-old Dale Stephenson, who was taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital following the shooting where he was listed in serious but stable condition.

Stephenson was shot last Thursday when Bridgeport officers responded to Birdseye Street just before 6 a.m. on the report of an individual acting erratically and knocking on doors while armed with a knife, according to Devlin’s preliminary report.

Officers who responded to the apartment complex encountered Stephenson in the middle of the road, footage from Colon’s body camera shows. Almost immediately upon arriving at the scene, Colon radios in asking for “a couple more units,” saying “This party has two knives,” the footage shows.

According to Devlin’s report, Bridgeport Officer Darryl Wilson Jr. also responded to the scene.

When Colon steps out of his cruiser, he calls out “Hey, brother” to Stephenson and tries to begin engaging him in conversation. Stephenson almost immediately sprints toward the policeman with a knife in each hand, the bodycam shows.

According to the footage, Colon screamed out “Don’t do it” three times as he backed away before firing his gun. Devlin said he fired three rounds and shot Stephenson, who can be seen in the bodycam footage falling to the ground and dropping the knives.

According to Devlin’s preliminary report, police provided medical aid to Stephenson before he was taken to the hospital in an ambulance.

A statement issued last week by Tiadora Josef, director of public information for the City of Bridgeport, indicated that Stephenson was shot in the lower leg.

Devlin said in his report that Stephenson has been charged with attempted first-degree assault and related charges in connection with the incident. Court records show he also faces misdemeanor charges of second-degree reckless endangerment and second-degree breach of peace in addition to the felony assault charge.

Stephenson is being held on a $100,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in Bridgeport Superior Court on June 11, records show.

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