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Marlborough officer cleared in fatal shooting of suspect

The Middlesex district attorney’s office has found that a Marlborough police officer was justified in shooting a knife-wielding man after responding to a domestic disturbance in November.

The office said that Officer Soren Levenson fatally shot Bryce Coutinho, 22, to protect himself after Coutinho refused to put down his weapon.

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The district attorney’s office and the State Police assigned there conducted an investigation, in conjunction with Marlborough police, into the Nov. 12 shooting on Meadow Brook Road.

Based on interviews, ballistics evidence, and analysis of radio transmissions, police reports, and statements, officials determined that Levenson was protecting himself.

According to the statement from the district attorney’s office, three Marlborough officers responded to a call from a woman saying that her former boyfriend would not leave the house and was trying to hurt himself.

After arriving at the scene, Levenson was directed to the second floor bedroom and was told that Coutinho had a history of mental health issues. The officer found Coutinho lying on a bed with a fresh bloody cut to his forearm. After seeing a knife, the officer backed up and drew his gun.

Coutinho simultaneously got off the bed, grabbed the knife, and “held it in a menacing fashion while advancing toward the officer,’’ the statement said. The officer repeatedly demanded that Coutinho drop the knife.

DA says officer was protecting himself from a knife-wielding man who was advancing on him.

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The statement said Coutinho advanced to within 6 feet of the officer, who had backed up near a small landing and did not have much room to maneuver. Believing that his life was in danger, the officer discharged his weapon twice, the statement said. Officers on the scene attempted to revive Coutinho.

The district attorney’s office referred the matter back to the Marlborough Police Department. Marlborough Police Chief Mark Leonard was not available for comment.

Jennifer Fenn Lefferts can
be reached at jflefferts@
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