A Westborough Police Officer fatally shot a person on November 15th, 2019 as per Worcester County District Attorney, Joesph Early. The Westborough Police and Fire arrived at the Windsor Ridge Luxury Townhouses around noon following a 911 call regarding domestic dispute when the officer-involved shooting took place.
Domestic Violence Incident Was in Progress
Mary Christensen, a neighbor, told police officers that it was unknown whether any outside person was involved in the dispute. Christensen stated that first responders to the scene found the domestic violence incident to be in progress.
The neighbors only heard gunshots and saw several police officers going in and out of the house. Early claimed the officers ran out of their vehicles when they heard the gunshots and one of the officers fired several rounds in the suspect, killing him on the spot.
DA Claims the Incident to be Isolated
The District Attorney did not release any statement disclosing past visits to the house by the police. However, the incident was labeled isolated. Christensen reported that the neighborhood was a quiet one where everyone knew each other. Someone from the community would have stepped in if the police had not arrived.
The victim of the domestic assault was shot along with the perpetrator. The police officer who fired the shots and the victim are both at the hospital. Their condition was called stable. The gender of the domestic violence victim and the attacker has not been released yet.
Worcester DA and Massachusetts state police are investigating the incident. Westborough Police Chief has called the incident ‘not random’.
Extent of Qualified Immunity Afforded to Police Officers
Police officers often find themselves in high-risk and life or death situations. They are provided with a certain level of protection or immunity from civil lawsuits in the form of qualified immunity. This level of protection is provided to law enforcement officers to allow them to perform their duties in good faith without worrying about actions that may get them sued or second guessing their next actions.
Police officers are immune to lawsuits as long as they are acting under authority for mere mistakes, negligence and other ‘bad decisions’. However, any police brutality personal injury lawyer would know that there are limits to the protection. For instance, law enforcement officers can be sued by the victim for damages under 42 USC s. 1983 in federal court.
It is necessary to consult with an experienced police brutality personal injury attorney with comprehensive knowledge of civil rights of citizens and criminal law to fully understand the scope of a particular situation.