State Police Investigate Local Police Shooting Incident on I-84 in East Hartford
On Saturday evening, February 2, 2008, just after 6 p.m., there was a police shooting which resulted in the death of a suspect on I84 eastbound in East Hartford in the area east of exit 58. Police Officers from both East Hartford Police Department and Hartford Police Department were involved in this police pursuit and shooting. At the request of the Chiefs of Police from both of these agencies (Hartford and East Hartford) and the State’s Attorney Office, the State Police have assumed the investigation of this fatal shooting.
This incident originated in the city of Hartford at approximately 5:48 p.m. when Hartford police officers were called to a business to investigate a disturbance by a male brandishing a knife. As Hartford Police Officers were attempting to take this subject into custody he resisted arrest, assaulted the police officers,. and fled the scene in a vehicle with Hartford Police in pursuit.
During the pursuit the suspect struck several Hartford Police cruisers. The pursuit continued onto Route 2 and continued onto I-84.e/b. Hartford Police Department radioed all surrounding police agencies and requested assistance as this situation continued.
During attempts to stop the suspect vehicle, the lives of both the police officers and other motorists traveling on the streets of Hartford and the highways were being endangered by the recklessness and criminal actions of the suspect. On I-84 police officers twice attempted to “block-in’ the suspect’s vehicle with police cruisers to slow/stop the suspect vehicle. During both of these attempts the suspect rammed his vehicle into police cruisers as police officers were both occupying these cruisers and/or were outside their vehicles on foot attempting to take the subject into custody.
Fearing for their lives and/or the lives of others, several police officers utilized deadly force by discharging their service firearms at the suspect. The suspect lost control of his car and ran off I-84 near the Forbes Ave overpass striking a pole and trees before stopping. The suspect was transported to Hartford hospital where he was pronounced shortly after admission.
State Police Detectives from the Central District Major Crime Squad responded to this scene and have initiated the investigation of this police-shooting incident. The State Police Accident Reconstruction Unit is assisting with the documentation of the multiple motor vehicle collisions that occurred during the pursuit.
State Police Detectives have identified multiple accident scenes on I-84 between the suspect and police cars. This required the closure of highways and ramps of I-84 until about 5 am on Sunday 2/3/08 to allow State Police Detectives to gather physical and forensic evidence.
On 02/03/08 State Police Detectives confirmed the identification of the deceased suspect as
VICENTE BERMUDEZ age 25, DOB: 12/23/82
LKA New Britain Ave. Hartford, Ct.
The Office of the Chief State’s Medical Examiner conducted a post mortem examination of BERMUDEZ and concluded that the cause of death was gunshot wounds and a head injury consistent with a motor vehicle crash.
State Police are asking anyone who was traveling in this area of I-84 on Saturday night and may have witnessed the police pursuit of this suspect to contact State Police at Troop-H860 534-1000 ext #5
The State Police investigation is continuing.
Lt. J. Paul Vance