HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - A look at the moment of a deadly police-involved shooting in Hartford Friday night through the perspective of three officers was released on Monday afternoon.

Authorities released body camera footage of the shooting on Interstate 84 that left a 41-year-old suspect dead.

Alphonso Zaporta, 41, of Windsor, was killed when he attacked and grabbed an officer's firearm, police said.

The videos show the chaotic moments leading up to the shooting, including a physical struggle with an officer, and Zaporta gaining control of the officer's firearm.

Mayor Luke Bronin said Zaporta was "in possession of the weapon when he was shot."

According to officials, body cam video is typically withheld from the public for investigative purposes for more than just a few days.

Channel 3 law enforcement analyst and retired state police Lt. J. Paul Vance said when people look at the body camera footage, it is visible that violence erupted as officers tried to control the situation. 

"The other individual violently attacked the officers and it's visually there. Not complying with the instructions, it's certainly a difficult situation," Vance said. 

He also said it's an especially dangerous situation because a weapon was taken from an officer. 

"It's an extremely dangerous situation if someone is to get a hold of a law enforcement officer's weapon," he continued. "Certainly, any discharge can injure anybody in the vicinity of the area, [including] civilians, construction workers [and] others officers. It becomes a very tense and dangerous situation."

Officers said they tried to stop Zaporta as part of an investigation into gun-related activity. 

Several other officers, including Det. Zack Sherry with the fugitive task force, were called in for backup.

However, construction on I-84 prevented Zaporta from fleeing. His passenger was able to get out without incident.

Police said the body cam video from three of the five responding officers showed Zaporta violently attacking an officer and at one point gaining access to an officer's gun.

They said that's when Sherry shot and killed Zaporta.

Afterward, police said they recovered a 9mm handgun loaded with 16 rounds. It was reported stolen from Springfield, MA and found inside the vehicle Zaporta was driving.

According to a source, Zaporta's criminal record is long, with convictions dating back to 1994.

His most recent prison sentence stems from convictions in 2007 that include burglary, criminal possession of a firearm, assault, and interfering with an officer and/or resisting arrest.

He was released after spending eight years in prison, but soon after violated his probation in 2016.

Hartford interim police Chief Jason Thody spoke about the incident over the weekend.

"Any loss of life is a tragedy," Thody said. "We train to avoid using deadly force whenever possible, but sometimes circumstances leave our officers with no alternative."

State police described Sherry as a 14-year veteran of the police force.

He is on administrative leave, per policy.

In addition to the body cam footage, Channel 3 was told that Sherry's personnel file could also be available soon.

On Tuesday, the Greater Hartford NAACP released a statement following the release of the body camera footage: 

"The NAACP is deeply disturbed by the edited body camera footage released by the Hartford Police Department which displayed the shooting that took place on Friday and ended with the death of Alphonso Zaporta. The Greater Hartford NAACP was made aware of the incident early Saturday morning when the Mayor and Interim Chief contacted the President, Maxien Robinson-Lewin. However, the NAACP, which is the oldest and largest civil rights organization in the city of Hartford, was excluded from the private meeting organized by the Mayor and interim Police Chief for the viewing of the footage. The Black and Brown community of the Greater Hartford area have a lack trust with law enforcement. This incident comes on the heels of the unjustified police involved shooting of 19 year-old Anthony “Chulo” Jose Vega Cruz, who was fatally shot while unarmed by a Wethersfield police officer. This flagrant and unjustified killing remains under “investigation."

Copyright 2019 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.