Officials probe officer shooting of cruiser theft suspect

Jan 12, 2023, 10:28 PM | Updated: Jan 13, 2023, 1:28 pm
A Bristol police officer examines the scene where a suspect crashed a police cruiser into a restaur...

A Bristol police officer examines the scene where a suspect crashed a police cruiser into a restaurant, Friday, Jan. 13, 2023, in Bristol, Conn. A Connecticut officer who opened fire on a man stealing the police cruiser, wounding him the leg minutes before he crashed the SUV into the deli, is under investigation for the deadly use of force, state officials said Friday.(Kellie Love/Hartford Courant via AP)

(Kellie Love/Hartford Courant via AP)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut officer who opened fire on a man stealing a police cruiser, wounding him in the leg minutes before the man crashed the SUV into a diner, is under investigation for deadly use of force, state officials said Friday.

The state inspector general’s office and state and local police are reviewing Thursday’s shooting by a Bristol officer. The office, which was created as part of a 2020 police accountability law, investigates all deadly use of force by police in Connecticut.

Body cam footage released Friday shows Officer Seth Petzing fire four shots at Jimmie Shoemaker-Gonzalez as Shoemaker-Gonzalez speeds away in the cruiser. Shoemaker-Gonzalez then drove more than 2 miles (3 kilometers) before crashing into Palma’s Diner, officials said.

The SUV ended up completely inside the restaurant. The Bristol diner was open at the time, but nobody inside was injured.

Police allege Shoemaker-Gonzalez had carjacked drivers earlier Thursday in Hartford and Farmington. Bristol officers spotted the vehicle that was stolen in Farmington, and Shoemaker-Gonzalez abandoned the car and ran away, authorities said.

During a foot chase, police said Shoemaker-Gonzalez got into the Bristol police cruiser. As he was driving away, Petzing opened fire at the driver’s side of the cruiser, officials said.

“We hope everyone is having a better day than we are,” a post on the diner’s Facebook page said. “Despite all the craziness, we are writing to let you know that everyone inside the diner at the time of the accident is safe despite being shaken up by all of this.”

Shoemaker-Gonzalez was taken to a hospital. His condition was not released. He was arraigned in absentia Friday, a court clerk said. It’s not clear if he has a lawyer who could respond to the police allegations.A judge set bail at $500,000 and continued the case to Jan. 27.

Court records show Shoemaker-Gonzalez has convictions for strangulation, assault, violating a protective order, driving while intoxicated and attempted burglary, and he served jail time, most recently last year.

Petzing was placed on paid administrative leave pending the investigation, under normal protocols, a Bristol police spokesperson said. Petzing did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

The cruiser theft and shooting by Petzing came exactly three months after two Bristol officers, Lt. Dustin DeMonte and Sgt. Alex Hamzy, were shot to death in an ambush. A third officer shot in the attack, Alec Iurato, fatally shot the gunman, and survived.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Protesters gather in front of police headquarters while marching Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023, in Memphi...
Associated Press

Memphis police disband unit that fatally beat Tyre Nichols

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The Memphis police chief disbanded the city’s so-called Scorpion unit on Saturday, citing a “cloud of dishonor” from newly released video that showed some of its officers beating Tyre Nichols to death after stopping the Black motorist. Police Director Cerelyn “CJ” Davis acted a day after the harrowing video emerged, saying […]
1 day ago
FILE - The building that housed office space of President Joe Biden's former institute, the Penn Bi...
Associated Press

Classified docs probe pushes Biden think tank into spotlight

WASHINGTON (AP) — As Joe Biden contemplated his next move in 2017 after decades in government, he considered a familiar path — creating a Washington-based think tank to focus on international affairs and diplomacy. It proved an easy sell and a lucrative one, too. Soft landings in the capital are common for officials with a […]
1 day ago
From left, Claudio Descalzi, the CEO of Italy's state-run energy company, ENI, Qatar's Minister of ...
Associated Press

Qatar replaces Russian company in Lebanon gas exploration

BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanon, two international oil giants and state-owned oil and gas company Qatar Energy signed an agreement Sunday that the Qatari firm will join a consortium that will search for gas in the Mediterranean Sea off Lebanon’s coast. The deal inked in Beirut brings Qatar into Lebanon’s gas exploration market three months after […]
1 day ago
FILE- People gather on Place de la Republique during a demonstration against proposed pension chang...
Associated Press

France must raise pension age to 64, prime minister says

PARIS (AP) — France’s prime minister insisted Sunday that the government’s plan to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64 is “no longer negotiable,” further angering parliamentary opponents and unions who plan new mass protests and disruptive strikes this week. Raising the pension age is one part of a broad bill that is the […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Maldives president to run again after winning primary

MALE, Maldives (AP) — Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih won a party primary and will run for a second term in September elections. Solih defeated Mohamed Nasheed, the parliament speaker and a former president, in the Maldivian Democratic Party primary held Saturday night. Nasheed played a key role in transforming the Indian Ocean archipelago state […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Australia mining company sorry for losing radioactive device

PERTH, Australia (AP) — A mining corporation on Sunday apologized for losing a highly radioactive capsule over a 1,400-kilometer (870-mile) stretch of Western Australia, as authorities combed parts of the road looking for the tiny but dangerous substance. The capsule was part of a device believed to have fallen off a truck while being transported […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Officials probe officer shooting of cruiser theft suspect