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Pittsfield police shoot man in distress

Mar 28, 2022 2:33 pm

Larry Parnass and Amanda Burke report in The Berkshire Eagle that Pittsfield police shot and killed a man who had been cutting himself with a knife on March 25 outside his Onota Street apartment building. Friends and co-workers of Miguel Estrella, 22, wondered why police resorted to lethal force, rather than take him into protective custody. Police are not releasing the names of the officers involved who were placed on administrative leave. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner performed an autopsy on March 27, but is withholding details until they could be shared with Estrella’s family. Police initially responded after Estrella cut his own face, but they left him in the care of his girlfriend. They were soon called again, though, and Daneya Falwell, 19, said she pleaded with police to take her boyfriend into custody. The police then claim that Estrella “advanced” on them, and they twice used Tasers to incapacitate him. That did not work, so they shot and killed him. “He wasn’t attacking. He was hurting himself, that was very clear. I kept saying to the police officer next to me, please don’t shoot, please don’t shoot, please don’t shoot,” Falwell said. “I saw them tase him and then next thing you know, he dropped. He dropped. He wasn’t hurting anybody at all. He wasn’t a threat to nobody.” Falwell's sister, Tayshia Hoisington, also saw the shooting. “There’s so many ways that this could have been de-escalated,” Hoisington said. “Or they honestly could have tackled him.” Read more about this story in The Berkshire Eagle.