SCHENECTADY, N.Y. - A Schenectady County grand jury has ruled that a police officer was justified in shooting and killing a man during a domestic dispute.
Julio Colon, 40, was shot by a Schenectady Police Officer, Sgt. Daryl Mallard, at his home on Balltown Road on May 2nd after a physical dispute between Colon and a man he lived in a domestic partnership with.
District Attorney Robert Carney says the grand jury found Sgt. Mallard was justified in using deadly force and he will not face any criminal charges.
Around 9 a.m. on May 2nd, Sgt. Mallard along with two other officers responded to the home after maintenance workers heard a physical struggle and a man screaming for help inside the apartment.
Police had trouble entering the apartment, where they heard a man yelling for help, as the door was locked and barricaded with a couch that was wedged between the door and wall. Police were eventually able to remove the door and hinges from the doorframe and enter the apartment.
Colon was on the floor, restraining his roommate in front of him in a headlock while holding a military-style knife against his throat.
The officers entered with their weapons drawn, and asked Colon to drop the knife 29 times, all of which he refused.
Colon then moved the knife to the victim's chest and stabbed the top of his skin. Officers also saw other puncture wounds and blood on his chest.
Sgt. Mallard attempted to grab Colon's arm to pull him away, but Colon was able to escape the officer's grasp and keep the knife at the victim's chest. At that time, Sgt. Mallard shot Colon's hip-area two times.
After being shot, the roommate broke free from Colon's grip and was able to escape.
Colon then approached Sgt. Mallard with the knife, and he was shot a third time in the chest. All three shots were fired in three seconds.
A taser was used by another officer, however was ineffective, police say, because Colon was wearing a leather jacket to not allow the taser to make close-enough contact with his body.
Once shot for the third time, Colon continued to hold onto the knife for a few minutes. When he finally dropped it, police kicked it away.
Paramedics arrived on scene and transported Colon to Ellis Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 10:25 a.m. An autopsy revealed he had significant quantities of methamphetamine in his body, which is a drug that can induce paranoia and violent behavior.
The roommate was treated for numerous wounds.
District Attorney Carney stated as follows: "Mr. Colon endangered the life of his roommate and put the officers in a position that they had to act to protect him. Sgt. Mallard's conclusion that he needed to use deadly physical force was reasonable given his observations of the injuries already inflicted upon the roommate, Mr. Colon's repeated refusal to honor their commands to drop the knife, the additional risk posed by the sudden insertion of the knifepoint into the roommate's chest, and the officers' inability to physically disarm him. Had Mr. Colon decided to plunge the knife into his roommate's chest and done so, the officers would not have had time to save the roommate if they reacted by discharging their weapons. It is regrettable that Mr. Colon lost his life, but worse outcomes were possible here involving death or serious injury to the roommate or the police. Whether because of drug-induced paranoia, a wish to die at the hands of police, or some other reason, Mr. Colon bears the ultimate responsibility for his own death.
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