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Report finds Pittsfield PD in Estrella shooting followed 'use of force guidelines'

Apr 28, 2022 1:00 am

Larry Parnass and Amanda Burke are reporting for The Berkshire Eagle the Pittsfield Police Department's internal investigation into the death of Miguel Estrella on March 25, has determined the officer who shot and killed him followed the department's use of force guidelines. The team also determined that Estrella posed an immediate threat when he came at an officer with a raised knife, at a fast pace. The preliminary report, produced by the department’s Force Investigation Team was released April 27. According to the report, Officer Nicholas Sondrini fired twice after repeated efforts to stop Estrella with less-lethal means failed and after officers had backed 120 feet away from him, into Onota Street traffic. Estrella, 22, died that night from two gunshot wounds to his torso. The department called the outcome “tragic,” but found that officers followed proper procedures. The document says police did not have the option of compelling Estrella to be placed in psychiatric care. The officers involved in the incident were identified in the report and the investigation determined that police on the scene felt Estrella’s actions ran the risk of harming a woman present. The work of the department’s investigatory team continues and a complete report will be filed in the coming weeks, according to a statement approved by Police Chief Michael Wynn. Neither Wynn, Estrella's sister or mother were immediately available for comment, Wednesday. The Berkshire District Attorney’s Office is conducting its own, separate criminal investigation into the fatal shooting. The report was released one day after a petition was delivered to the Pittsfield City Council calling for city police officers to be equipped with body cameras. The more in The Berkshire Eagle.

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