Hampden DA concludes investigation into Springfield officer-involved shooting

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January 21, 2022-Springfield- On Sunday, January 9, 2022 the members of the Springfield Police Department responded to a reported stabbing in the vicinity of Cass and Liberty Streets. The suspect, later identified as Mr. Orlando Taylor, III, 23, of Springfield, was fatally wounded after he stabbed a police officer in the face/neck area.

Deadly use of force was deployed after officers confronted the suspect without any weapons but were attempting to grab him with bare hands. The suspect, Mr. Taylor, almost immediately exercised lethal force with a deadly weapon. Both officers pursued the fleeing suspect, this time with firearms drawn. Mr. Taylor then stopped running, turned towards officers, raised the knife in his hand, and charged. The responding officers still attempted to maintain physical separation from Mr. Taylor and rely on verbal commands in avoiding the application of lethal force.

Mr. Taylor ignored these commands and charged rapidly at Springfield Police Officer Arjel Falcon with the knife in a position to inflict serious injury or death.

All deaths are tragic, and few have more impact and draw more scrutiny than when police officers are involved.  As in the case, and with any homicide, we must remember, and respect, there is a family grieving for a loved one, whose life was taken suddenly and traumatically

When these circumstances arise, district attorneys, bear the responsibility of investigating, and determining, if the use of force leading to one’s death was appropriate and lawful.

Hampden District Attorney Anthony D. Gulluni stated, “All death investigations, but especially those involving an officer’s use of deadly force, must be investigated openly, transparently, and objectively. The process by which this investigation is conducted must be methodical, thorough, and consistent. This process, and the consistency and transparency that must be its hallmarks, is, first, about a fair and just outcome. But, second, it’s about building trust in law enforcement in all communities. Incidents like this one have sparked unrest and distrust for police across our country, and it is incumbent on us to ensure that this incident does not deter or erode a positive relationship between law enforcement and the community we serve. In fact, it’s an occasion to show professionalism, decency, and respect, to build trust and strengthen relationships, while we deal with a tragedy and all its dimensions.”

Officer Falcon fired two shots and ceased firing when the threat was neutralized.  The entirety of the amassed, uncontroverted evidence, all stand clearly in agreement that Officer Arjel Falcon’s use of deadly force was his unavoidable last resort, to which he arrived after having suffered serious injury, issuing repeated verbal commands, and backpedaling to furnish Mr. Taylor with further opportunities to acquiesce.

Accordingly, criminal charges are not warranted and this investigation is closed.

Attached are Hampden District Attorney Anthony Gulluni’s finding, all the evidence reviewed in this investigation is available HERE, please note, some of this material is graphic in nature.  

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