12/07/2011

Mass. police shooting justified, DA says

Fitchburg officers were justified in their use of force when they shot a man armed with a machete

By Marisa Donelan
Sentinel & Enterprise

FITCHBURG, Mass. — Fitchburg police officers were justified in their use of force in March, when they shot and killed a Belmont Street man who was armed with a machete, Worcester District Attorney Joseph Early Jr. said Monday.

Eric Stafford, 21, of 15 Belmont St., refused to drop his weapon when police responded to the house on the night of March 19, after Stafford's girlfriend called to say he was acting strangely and might be armed. As officers attempted to subdue him, Stafford raised the machete over his head and charged them, which is when they fired, striking Stafford twice.

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