Trooper found jus­ti­fied in 2015 fa­tal shoot­ing of man in Ce­cil Co.

Baltimore Sun - - NEWS - By Tim Pru­dente tpru­dente@balt­sun.com

gun. He told in­ves­ti­ga­tors that Hall grabbed for the weapon and he “felt the car take off at a high rate of speed and felt his legs drag.”

“Trp. Brack­ett pointed his gun at Hall and just be­fore Hall tried to reach up and grab the gun again, Trp. Brack­ett fired one shot and then punched out again and fired an­other shot,” in­ves­ti­ga­tors wrote in the syn­op­sis.

Brack­ett said he put the car in park. He said he heard Hall’s wife yelling from be­hind, call­ing him a “mur­derer” and ac­cus­ing him of shoot­ing an un­armed man.

Brack­ett told in­ves­ti­ga­tors he “waited for backup to ar­rive be­fore he could fo­cus his at­ten­tion on med­i­cal treat­ment for Hall be­cause he was in fear and wanted the scene to be se­cure.”

Hall died in the park­ing lot. His wife could not be reached Mon­day.

Brack­ett, a trooper for nearly four years, re­tired from the state po­lice in May.

“I just wasn’t able to go back to work,” he told The Bal­ti­more Sun on Mon­day. “I have death threats come to me and my fam­ily. … It’s just tough, and you com­bine ev­ery­thing that’s hap­pened to me, it’s not like you can sleep at night. It’s not like you don’t have night­mares.”

Brack­ett said he served six years in the Army and was de­ployed to Iraq in 2011. He said the shoot­ing last year wors­ened his post-trau­matic stress dis­or­der.

“There’s been a lot of spec­u­la­tion about what I should have done,” Brack­ett said. “I was fight­ing with him for over a minute, try­ing to pull him out of the car, and then he launches the car and tries to slam me.” Brack­ett said he had no other op­tion. “If I had a Taser, I would have used it,” he said. “It prob­a­bly would have kept him alive.”

Af­ter a shoot­ing, state po­lice pol­icy re­quires a trooper to “ren­der aid within his level of train­ing.”

In a re­view of the in­ci­dent, state po­lice Sgt. David Sexton watched se­cu­rity and dash­board cam­era footage from Brack­ett’s ve­hi­cle and wrote that the trooper “does not ap­pear to pro­vide any med­i­cal or life sav­ing tech­niques at the time and it is sev­eral min­utes be­fore an off duty deputy who is an EMT ar­rives and as­sists the troop­ers.”

Sexton noted that Brack­ett can be seen “go­ing back to Hall, who is in dis­tress and in­ca­pac­i­tated, and he seems to be talk­ing to him and us­ing his ra­dio.”

An in­ter­nal af­fairs in­ves­ti­ga­tion was con­ducted to de­ter­mine if Brack­ett fol­lowed po­lice rules and poli­cies. The find­ings of that in­ves­ti­ga­tion are con­fi­den­tial un­der state law.

“There’s a hun­dred-plus peo­ple in the park­ing lot scream­ing at me,” Brack­ett told The Sun. “By the time it took me to se­cure ev­ery­thing and clear my weapon and move on to ren­der aid, he had no pulse.”

Med­i­cal ex­am­in­ers found Hall had heroin and co­caine in his sys­tem.

Tros­tle, the deputy state’s at­tor­ney, said Brack­ett knew of the open war­rant against Hall and was there­fore jus­ti­fied in at­tempt­ing to ar­rest him.

Tros­tle said the find­ing was based in part on a re­view of the dash­board cam­era video, the tox­i­col­ogy re­port and the fact that Hall’s DNA was found on Brack­ett’s gun.

“The car lunged for­ward ap­prox­i­mately 6 feet, throw­ing Trooper Brack­ett off bal­ance, and cre­at­ing a clear dan­ger to both Trooper Brack­ett and cit­i­zens walk­ing in the park­ing lot,” Tros­tle wrote “It is clear that Trooper Brack­ett rea­son­ably feared for his own safety, and/or the safety of cit­i­zens who were in the park­ing lot.”

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