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Trooper’s use of deadly force was justified, Norfolk DA says

A state trooper was justified in fatally shooting a New Bedford man during a confrontation in Quincy in June, Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey said Thursday.

Eyewitness accounts by civilians, fire, and police personnel, combined with physical evidence, “leave no room for doubt,’’ Morrissey said in a press release. “The action of this Massachusetts State Police trooper was in self-defense and was justified as a matter of law.”

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The incident took place on the evening of June 14, when Wilfredo Justiniano Jr., 41, was driving erratically and was pulled over on Route 128 in Quincy near the Randolph line, the press release said. Believing the man was having a heart attack, a woman called 911.

A state trooper, who was not identified, arrived and allegedly found Justiniano jumping up and down and screaming. According to the release, the trooper tried unsuccessfully to calm down Justiniano and eventually sprayed him twice with pepper spray.

Police said Justiniano charged the trooper while screaming he was going to kill him. The trooper then drew his gun and fired twice.

The district attorney stated that several witnesses confirmed the trooper’s story.

Relatives of Justiniano could not be immediately reached for comment.

Reports obtained from the New Bedford Police Department also show that Justiniano had a medical condition that affected this behavior and that he had previously been in confrontations with police.

“What has emerged is a clear picture of a tragedy for all involved,” Morrissey said.

Reach the writer at jessica.may.
bartlett@gmail.com
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