April 14, 2023-Springfield- On Saturday, February 25, 2023, at 2:20 a.m., members of the Massachusetts State Police Gaming Enforcement Unit, along with members of the Springfield Police Department assigned to the Gaming Enforcement Unit, responded to a report of Mr. William Tisdol being involved in a confrontation inside MGM Springfield. During that confrontation, Mr. Tisdol reportedly threatened to shoot the a party with which he had a confrontation with at a gaming table. MGM security was able to provide a location to Officers as Mr. Tisdol was leaving the casino, heading south in the direction of Main and Union Streets.
When approached by officers on Union Street, Mr. Tisdol attempted to elude officers. During the encounter Mr. Tisdol did not comply with the troopers’ legally valid attempts to stop him. Instead, Mr. Tisdol fled while keeping his hand in his right jacket pocket while troopers issued commands for him to remove his hands.
A Springfield Police officer attempted to stop Mr. Tisdol by tackling him; however Mr. Tisdol evaded this officer and continued to flee while keeping hand in his right pocket. Troopers continued to issue commands while following the subject. When a trooper announced the use of his taser, Mr. Tisdol turned towards the trooper and discharged his firearm on the trooper armed with only a taser. Both troopers returned fire at Mr. Tisdol.
Mr. Tisdol was later declared deceased at Baystate Medical Center. An autopsy by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined that a projectile had entered Mr. Tisdol in the right upper chest area, which caused his death.
The law directs that district attorneys bear the responsibility of investigating cases involving deaths by unnatural causes. In instances such as this it is also the district attorney’s role to determine the appropriateness and lawfulness of a police use of force leading to another’s death.
Hampden District Attorney Anthony D. Gulluni employs national best practices in these situations that are designed to ensure communication with a decedent’s family and community leaders while the investigation continues; conduct an objective and thorough investigation; and reveal to the public all evidence, clear findings of fact, and conclusions that apply the law.
This investigation into the death of Mr. William Tisdol has followed this same protocol and concludes that the troopers acted in the lawful exercise of their duties and used only necessary and reasonable force in both self-defense and defense of others.
Hampden District Attorney Anthony D. Gulluni stated, “Mr. Tisdol’s actions dictated the course of events and the reasonable and necessary use of lethal force by the troopers. There is clear and copious evidence that Mr. Tisdol accessed, pointed, and fired his gun at troopers. The entirety of the amassed, uncontroverted evidence all stand clearly in agreement that the use of force by the troopers was an unavoidable last resort, to which they arrived after issuing numerous verbal commands and then were fired upon by Mr. Tisdol. Their actions comport with the policies of the Massachusetts State Police and with the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”
Attached are Hampden District Attorney Anthony D. Gulluni’s final report. All of the evidence reviewed in this investigation is available HERE. Please note, some of this material is graphic in nature and possible disturbing to viewers.