Man dies after falling from Foxwoods garage during police confrontation

A Connecticut State Police cruiser departs the Fox Tower parking garage at Foxwoods on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016, as police investigate an officer-involved shooting in the garage.  (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)
A Connecticut State Police cruiser departs the Fox Tower parking garage at Foxwoods on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016, as police investigate an officer-involved shooting in the garage. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)

Mashantucket — Fired upon by police, an armed man fell Tuesday from the fourth floor of the Fox Tower parking garage at Foxwoods Resort Casino and was pronounced dead, state police said.

The incident occurred about noon, as Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Police were attempting to serve an arrest warrant on the man, police said.

As police tried to take him into custody, the man pointed a gun at them. Police ordered him to drop his weapon, but he failed to do so, police said.

At least one tribal officer fired at least once at the man, police said.

The man then fell off the fourth floor of the parking garage onto a paved driveway below. 

Police administered first aid, but the man was pronounced dead. The cause of death will be determined by the state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

No other injuries were reported.

The man's identity is being withheld pending notification of his next of kin. The identity of the police officer or officers involved also is being withheld at this time, police said.

The situation was contained and patrons and employees were not in danger, according to Lori Potter, a spokeswoman for the Mashantucket tribe, which owns Foxwoods.

Potter and Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Police Chief William D. Dittman referred further questions to state police. The State Police Major Crime Squad is investigating.

The entrances and exits to the garage were blocked off during the investigation. Patrons also temporarily were moved away from the Fox Tower lobby during the incident, Potter said.

All other garages and public areas at Foxwoods are open and operational, she said.

New London County State’s Attorney Michael L. Regan said his office is aware of the incident and is investigating.

He said that under a new law, the investigation of use of force would have to be transferred to a state’s attorney’s office outside of the jurisdiction where the incident occurred.

The state and Mashantucket Pequot Tribe finalized an agreement in 2014 granting the tribal police department powers that are on par with any municipal police department in Connecticut.

Tribal police officers are certified by the Connecticut Police Officer Standards and Training Council, as are all other municipal police officers in the state.

The department had 25 officers, which included a large number of retired state and municipal officers, at the time of the agreement.

b.hallenbeck@theday.com

k.florin@theday.com

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