Probe begins in officer-involved shooting death
A 61-year-old man was shot and killed by a Utica police officer during an incident in the Cornhill district Monday evening, according to the City of Utica.
The New York State Attorney General’s Office is investigating. Two Utica police officers have been placed on administrative leave, officials stated.
Authorities said Utica police officers were dispatched to 1601 Neilson St. at 7:50 p.m. Monday for reports of an emotionally disturbed person armed with weapons. The officers encountered 61-year-old David Litts outside his own residence, armed with a knife, authorities stated.
The details of what transpired have not been released.
City officials said the incident ultimately involved using force against Litts and he was shot by a member or members of the Utica Police Department.
Litts was rushed to Mohawk Valley Health System, St. Elizabeth campus, Utica, and he was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival, authorities stated.
“We do believe there is a mental health history” involving Litts, said Utica Police Chief Mark Williams. He said the Utica Police Department has responded to calls for service at Litts’ home in the past, but he did not go into detail on the nature of those calls.
Williams said he did not know if Litts’ family was present at the time of the incident, and “we ended up speaking to the family” later in the evening.
After the shooting, Williams said there was a large crowd of people “voicing their displeasure” with what had happened. He said multiple other local law enforcement agencies were called in as back-up to help with crowd control.
According to New York State Law, the Attorney General’s Office is assigned to investigate all officer-involved shootings. The AG’s Office has been contacted by city officials and they have launched an investigation.
Chief Williams said he could not discuss the details of the incident because it is an active state investigation. He said two Utica police officers have been placed on administrative leave with pay while the investigations are underway.
The AG’s Office said they expected to release more information as the investigation continues.
The Utica Police Department is also conducting an internal investigation.
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