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State police say NL officers justified in May shooting

By Karin Crompton

Publication: theday.com

Published October 13. 2011 10:21AM   Updated October 13. 2011 4:43PM

New London — State police have determined that New London police were justified in their use of deadly force during a shooting incident in May, during which a despondent man displayed and pointed a gun at police in an effort to commit suicide.

New London police shot a city man, Kevin Kenny, outside of his apartment at 1110 Ocean Avenue the night of May 28. State police said Kenny had called New London police and reported that a woman had been shot outside of his apartment, providing police with a description of the suspect that was a description of Kenny himself.

Upon arrival, officers were confronted by Kenny, who told police that he was the person they were looking for. Officers ordered Kenny to show his hands, at which time Kenny showed a gun and pointed it at the officers; New London police fired at Kenny, wounding him.

State police Major Crime Detectives investigated and forwarded the case to New London County State’s Attorney Michael L. Regan for review. In a press release issued Thursday, state police said Regan concluded that the officers’ use of deadly force was appropriate because New London police reasonably believed that the use of deadly physical force was necessary to defend themselves from the imminent use of deadly force by Kenny.

During the investigation, Kenny admitted he had been depressed recently and fabricated the scenario in an attempt to get police to shoot and kill him, state police said.

State police said Thursday that the investigation is closed.

A second investigation, into a police shooting on Aug. 24, is still ongoing. In that incident, New London police shot a man who allegedly stole and then crashed a refrigerated truck.

Police have said Curtis Cunningham, of New Haven, stole a truck from outside a liquor store on Montauk Avenue and then crashed as he took a sharp left turn onto Jefferson Avenue. An officer who was taking a complaint from a citizen at the CVS Pharmacy spotted the truck as it made the turn and radioed in to dispatch that the truck had crashed.

When officers approached, Cunningham was standing up in the cab of the truck. Police ordered Cunningham to show his hands, state police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance said previously, and Cunningham failed to comply. Cunningham then made an "overt movement," Vance said, at which point officers fired.

State police said they did not recover a gun from the scene.

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