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Hartford Police identify officer, man shot in police-involved shooting

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HARTFORD--Police provided an update on an officer-involved shooting that occurred on Tuesday evening.

Around 8 p.m. Hartford Police dispatch got a call reporting that there was a disturbed man at his home on Andover Street. When officers arrived, they found the man in his front yard and tried to have a conversation. He immediately ran.

A foot chase ensued, and near the corner of Palm Street and Westminster Street the man stopped, turned towards the three officers who had responded, and they saw he had a knife in each hand. He was flailing his hands. He then turned and kept running.

The officers were then able to corner the man in a driveway on Westminster. They told him to put down the knives, but he didn't comply. An officer then deployed a Taser, but it does not appear to have taken.

The man charged at the officers with the knives in his hand, pushing a trash can he had been hiding behind towards them. At that point the officer who deployed the Taser fired three shots, with at least one hitting the man in his torso.

A third knife was found by a surgeon at the hospital in the man's clothes.

The man is in critical, but stable condition; the officer who shot him was also taken to the hospital after breaking a bone near his thumb.

The man has been identified as 22-year-old Tyrinde Mason Thompson, who has no criminal history. There is no officer standing guard of him at the hospital, and it has not yet been determined if he will be charged.

The officer who deployed the Taser and shot Thompson was identified as Tyrell Jenkins. Chief James Rovella said he has been on the force for three years since graduating in 2012 from the academy, and there are no citizen complaints against him and he has not had any administrative disciplinary actions taken against him by the department.

Jenkins is on leave for his injury, which he may have sustained by falling after the trash can was pushed at him; he will then be put on administrative assignment when he returns as the investigation continues, according to Rovella, meaning he will be kept in house.

Meanwhile, three investigations are ongoing: one into if Thompson should be charged for going at the officers with knives, which the Hartford Police will investigate; one conducted by the State Police into if Jenkins' discharge of his weapon was warranted; and one by Hartford Police Internal Affairs into the administrative side of the shooting.

The scene was processed by State Police Major Crimes, and the State Police lab will analyze the evidence. Also, the state's attorney is also working on the case to ensure a separate set of eyes looks at the shooting.

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra said that he is ensuring that the investigation is transparent, which is why police played the 911 calls at the press conference and are having an independent agency process the evidence.

"We are doing more than we have been doing before in terms of providing a much higher level of communication," Segarra said of the difference between this investigation and previous ones.

As to why the city is providing such a high level of transparency, Segarra said: "We have watched how other cities have struggled with the approach that they have taken, and we want to make sure that while we cannot provide each and every detail at this point that we provide all the details possible."

The other two officers who were present during the chase and shooting were Gary Benway and Hector Morales, who patrols the Blue Hills neighborhood where this occurred.