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Hartford officer on administrative duty as fatal shooting is probed

May 9, 2005

Associated Press HARTFORD, Conn. -- An 18-year-old shot and killed by a city police officer Saturday night died of a gunshot wound to the head, police said Monday.

Officer Robert Lawlor, a 17-year veteran of the force, has been assigned to administrative duty pending the outcome of an investigation into the death of Jashon Bryant, said Hartford Chief Patrick Harnett.

"I express my deep regard for the loss of another life in this city," Harnett said.

Harnett said police are still trying to piece together Saturday night's events.

Lawlor and Dan Prather, an Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agent, approached a car in a Main Street parking lot in the city's North End around 7:30 p.m. with their badges visible, Harnett said. They spoke to the two occupants of the car, and the authorities believed the two occupants had a gun, he said. The authorities gave the two men several commands, but they did not comply, Harnett said.

"What happened next is unclear," Harnett said.

Lawlor fired his gun, striking Bryant and Brandon Henry, Harnett said. Henry, whose age was not made available by police, allegedly drove the car from the scene, and after a crash, fled on foot. He was captured hiding under a porch, Harnett said.

Bryant died at St. Francis Hospital of a gunshot wound to the head, and Henry was treated and released from Hartford Hospital, police said. Henry has been charged with possession of narcotics, police said.

A gun has not been recovered, police said.

The Rev. Cornell Lewis, a Hartford community activist, said police need to provide more details about the shooting.

"There's a lot of unrest," he said. "The answers are not satisfying."

Bryant's uncle, John Thomas, said his nephew "had the type of smile, he didn't have to speak to me," he told WVIT-TV. "He just smiled at me.

Thomas said the police "need to be held accountable, just like average citizens with weapons."

The shooting capped a weekend of violence. Police said Edward Bell, 34, was shot and killed in front of apartments on George Street in the South End Friday. Earlier in the day, two men were shot on Branford Street. Karl Miller, 24, was treated and released from St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, and another man died. Police have not identified the deceased victim.

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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