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Officer who shot, killed man who stabbed him in neck cleared

January 21, 2022 GMT

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts police officer who shot and killed a man who stabbed him earlier this month has been cleared of wrongdoing, investigators said Friday.

Hampden District Attorney Anthony Gulluni in a statement said Springfield Officer Arjel Falcon’s use of deadly force when he shot Orlando Taylor III, 23, on Jan. 9 “was his unavoidable last resort, to which he arrived after having suffered serious injury, issuing repeated verbal commands, and backpedaling to furnish Mr. Taylor with further opportunities to acquiesce.

“Accordingly, criminal charges are not warranted and this investigation is closed.”

Two Springfield officers responded to reports of a man with a knife who had threatened another man, according to police reports.

The officers at first tried to grab Taylor with their bare hands, according to the report. But he immediately slashed Falcon in the face and neck area. The wound required hospitalization.

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Both officers then pursued Taylor with guns drawn, Taylor stopped running, turned toward the officers, raised the knife in his hand, and charged, according to the report. The officers still tried to stay away from Taylor, but he refused verbal commands to drop the knife, investigators said.

Falcon fired two shots, Gulluni said.

Taylor’s family has expressed anger, saying he had mental health issues and there was no need to shoot him.