Video shows deadly end to Connecticut police chase as officer shoots man in vehicle
Aug 11, 2023, 1:50 PM
WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Body-camera video released Friday shows the bloody end of a frenzied police chase in Connecticut, where a man trying to escape in a stolen car was attacked by a police dog, then killed by an officer inside the moving vehicle as he screamed for help.
Tuesday’s fatal shooting of Mike Alexander-Garcia, 34, is under investigation by Connecticut’s Office of Inspector General, which released surveillance, dashboard and body-camera video from the scene.
The chaotic sequence of events that led to the shooting started when West Hartford police received word that a stolen Hyundai Elantra had been spotted near a mall, officials said.
Officers tried to stop the Elantra but it kept going and hit two cars, according to the inspector general’s preliminary report. The Hyundai became disabled. Two men got out and ran.
One of the men was apprehended, but the second, Alexander-Garcia, fled on foot and tried unsuccessfully to carjack two vehicles, authorities said.
Alexander-Garcia ran to an auto shop and got into a sport utility vehicle parked in a service bay.
Officer Andrew Teeter arrived moments later. Body-camera footage shows Teeter’s dog, a shepherd type, leaping into the SUV through the passenger-side window. Teeter opens the vehicle’s door and follows.
The video shows the dog biting Alexander-Garcia as he sits behind the steering wheel yelling “Help me!” and “Officer, please!”
Footage from other cameras shows the SUV back out of the garage, then turn, glance off a parked police cruiser and a tree, and start driving.
Teeter yells “Don’t do it!” and “I’m going to shoot you!” Then he fires several shots into Alexander-Garcia’s back, roughly 15 seconds after the SUV began to move.
The SUV crashed into a utility pole across the street, the inspector general’s report said.
Messages seeking comment on Alexander-Garcia’s death were sent to three attorneys who represented him in the past.
Teeter suffered a broken rib and cuts on his head, the inspector general said. The dog was not injured.
West Hartford Mayor Shari Cantor said in a statement that she was confident the police department would work with state authorities to ensure a “comprehensive and thorough investigation.”
Police Chief Vernon Riddick said his department “believes strongly in transparency, and in all facts being gathered and impartially evaluated.”
Riddick said the department would cooperate with investigators.