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    Thursday, June 08, 2023

    Police ID suspect dead after multitown police chase

    Police cars crowd Route 32 in the area of the IGA supermarket in South Windham Wednesday, February 20, 2019 after a chase that originated in Norwich ended with the suspect dead behind a house on Old Plains Road in South Windham.. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)
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    [naviga:img class="img-responsive" alt="Kyron Marcell Sands" src="/Assets/news2018/KyronMarcellSands.jpg"/]

    Kyron Marcell Sands

    Police shot and killed a man who had traded gunfire with officers from three departments and led them on a chase from Norwich to Windham on Wednesday.

    State police identified the man as Kyron Marcell Sands, 39, of 155 Wethersfield Ave., Hartford.

    The drama began with a "suspicious incident" on Broad Street in Norwich on Wednesday morning, state police said at an afternoon news conference.

    The vehicle Sands was driving crashed in Windham after police deployed stop sticks, police said.

    Willimantic police said Sands then ran from the vehicle. As officers and state troopers chased him, police said Sands shot at them. Willimantic officers and one trooper fired at Sands and at least one bullet struck him in the abdomen, police said.

    The incident ended in the backyard of a home on Old Plains Road. Medical attention was rendered immediately, but he was pronounced dead at the scene by medical personnel from Windham Hospital, said Trooper Josue Dorelus, a spokesman for state police.

    [naviga:img alt="" src="https://projects.theday.com/maps/norwich-pursuit-deadly.png" hspace="5" vspace="5" border="0" height="300" width="400" align="right"/]

    The medical examiner is expected to perform an autopsy Thursday.

    Tomasyn Goode said she was working from her Old Plains Road home when she heard a loud crash. She said she went downstairs to go outside and see what happened. It was then that she heard sirens and then gunshots.

    Goode said she was about to open her back door when she saw the suspect in the car chase bleeding and trying to get into her house. She said she ran out the front door of her home but was ordered by police to stay inside.

    "It was pretty horrific," Goode told a Day reporter by telephone Wednesday afternoon.

    She said the suspect was dead in her backyard, covered by a sheet. She said she found blood on her porch and bullet holes in her car.

    Sands, a former basketball player for Norwich Free Academy and Three Rivers Community College, is known to police. In 2001, he was charged with, among other things, unlawful use of a firearm, criminal use of a firearm and carrying a pistol without a permit, in connection with a shooting on Mechanic Street in Norwich. The Day's archives show that he has been arrested several other times since then, including in 2004, when he was charged in connection with a road rage incident, and in February 2014, after leading Norwich and state police in a pursuit through several towns with a stolen vehicle.

    State troopers and Norwich and Willimantic police were involved in Wednesday's incidents, and Dorelus said there are several scenes spanning New London and Windham counties that will be investigated by state police and local departments.

    The New London County State's Attorney's Office has requested the help of the state police Central District Major Crime unit to conduct an independent investigation of the officer-involved shooting that occurred during the incident, Dorelus said. They did not say which department the officer is from.

    In front of 228 Broad St., Norwich, a 2½-story building where a woman reported a break-in to city police Wednesday morning, at least six evidence markers lined the ground. A Norwich police cruiser was parked in the driveway.

    Norwich police had attempted to make contact with Sands, during which time he fired multiple rounds at officers, Dorelus said. Norwich police returned the gunfire. Sands then carjacked a vehicle and engaged officers in a pursuit, Dorelus said.

    Several residents and a property manager said they weren't home when shots were fired in Norwich but heard about the incident from friends.

    A woman who said she has lived on Lake Street for just more than a year — she declined to give her name — said she was in her apartment when she heard five or six gunshots. She said she hadn't noticed anything out of the ordinary beforehand.

    Norwich police followed the vehicle Sands was driving. He fired multiple shots at officers from the vehicle, Dorelus said. He then drove onto Interstate 395.

    During the course of the pursuit, Sands attempted to carjack multiple vehicles and fired shots at several civilians, Dorelus said. No injuries were reported.

    During the incident, schools in Taftville briefly were placed on lockdown and other schools in the city were placed in a brief "hold," meaning indoor activities could continue normally but no one could leave the buildings, Superintendent Abby Dolliver said.

    Day Staff Writers Lindsay Boyle and Claire Bessette contributed to this report.


    Several police cars involved in a Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019 chase that started in Norwich are parked in front of the Windham IGA on Route 32. (Sean Elliot/The Day)
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    Markers line the ground in front of 228 Broad St. in Norwich, where the door is wide open and a cruiser is parked in the driveway Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019. (Lindsay Boyle/The Day)
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