Police fatally shot a 30-year-old Fall River man being investigated for domestic violence during a confrontation inside the man’s home Monday, officials said.
After police arrived at the Melville Street home around 6 p.m., an altercation took place between officers and Anthony Harden, officials said.
“At some point during the struggle, two shots were fired by an officer,” Bristol District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III’s office said Tuesday in a statement. “A knife was found at the scene.”
The two officers provided emergency medical aid and Harden was taken to St. Anne’s Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
Officials said that Harden’s girlfriend told police Monday that Harden had assaulted her on Saturday. When officers went to question Harden at the home he shared with his twin brother, a confrontation broke out.
Harden’s relatives denounced the use of deadly force.
“He’s a father. He’s a brother. He’s a son. He’s a nephew. He’s a cousin. He’s a good kid,’’ Carl Harden, his older brother, said in an interview. “And what happened to him was unnecessary.”
In November 2019, Harden was arrested for allegedly beating and indecently assaulting his estranged wife and for threatening to kill his infant daughter while he held her in his arms during a three-and-half hour standoff with police, according to relatives and court records.
At the request of prosecutors, Harden was found dangerous by District Court Judge Edward H. Sharkansky, who ordered him to remain under house arrest and wear a GPS tracking device instead of being jailed, records show.
Harden was still under house arrest nearly two years later, the case against him delayed by the pandemic, court records show. A judge denied a motion to have Harden’s criminal case thrown out, records show.
In April 2020, a judge ruled that Harden had violated his bail by posting YouTube videos that his estranged wife and Quinn’s office said were threatening, including a rap song with the phrase, “ex bitch will get karma” and songs directed at a person whose name was the ex-wife’s first name spelled backwards.
However, the judge did not send him to jail, instead ordering that the home confinement continue, records show.
Last Thanksgiving, Harden’s house arrest was lifted so he could spend Thanksgiving at his older brother’s home, records show.
Harden “has not physically violated the terms of his release, has physically stayed away from his wife, and physically stayed away from his infant daughter, and needs the human interaction with his family on this most important family day,” wrote his court-appointed lawyer, Robert M. Tutino.
The case was scheduled to go to trial Dec. 21 after a judge approved $3,000 so Harden’s lawyer could conduct DNA testing on forensic evidence allegedly supporting his estranged wife’s claim that he raped her in a jealous rage based on the number of her Facebook friends, records show.
Carl Harden said the extended period of home confinement had frustrated his brother, especially because the family did not believe the criminal charges were warranted.
“All of those things, all of those facts were up for dispute,” he said. “Authorities could not prove their case. He’s been under house arrest for two years over things that were never proven to be true. ... He’s a victim of the system.”
After his death, all criminal charges were dismissed against Harden, court records show.