Report: Hartford police justified in 2013 fatal shooting

Hartford police cruiser (WTNH /George Roelofsen)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Hartford’s top prosecutor has concluded that a city police officer was justified in fatally shooting a suspect in a 2013 stabbing.

Hartford State’s Attorney Gail Hardy released her report Wednesday following an investigation into the death of 52-year-old Jesus Espinoza.

Police say Espinoza was shot once in the chest on March 15, 2013 after he lunged at Officer Richard Cotto with a box cutter, coming within inches of the officer’s stomach.

Cotto and another officer had confronted Espinoza in his bedroom after being told he was responsible for stabbing another man during an argument that had erupted during a game of dominoes.

Witnesses say the officers identified themselves as police before kicking in the bedroom door and ordering Espinoza to drop his weapon.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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