Officer Cleared Of Wrongdoing In Fatal Shooting

March 19, 2018 - 3:15 pm

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut police officer who shot and killed a man 
who was beating her over the head with her own stun gun was justified when she 
opened fire, a prosecutor said Monday in clearing the officer of criminal 
 Montville Constable Robin Salvatore shot 53-year-old Val Thomas at a hotel in 
January 2017, Windham State's Attorney Anne Mahoney said in her report. Thomas, 
who was struck in the abdomen, was pronounced dead at the hospital.
 Salvatore and another officer had gone to the Chesterfield Lodge at the request 
of the owner who said Thomas had not paid his bill and refused to leave.
 Thomas grabbed Salvatore's Taser from her duty belt, hit her over the head with 
it several times, drawing blood that dripped into the officer's eye, and said he 
would kill her.
 Salvatore, who had backed away from Thomas fearing that he would try to stun 
her with the Taser, fired one round after telling Thomas to drop it.
 ``Since Mr. Thomas repeatedly struck her in the head with a blunt object that 
could have caused death or serious physical injury and stated that he intended 
to kill her, Officer Salvatore was justified in the use of deadly physical 
force,'' Mahoney said.
 The police account of the confrontation was backed up by hotel surveillance 
video and the police cruiser camera, Mahoney said.
 Thomas had had several contacts with law enforcement dating to 1984, including 
convictions for physical violence, Mahoney's report said. Investigators also 
found delusional writings in his room after his death.

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