D.A.: No Criminal Charges Filed in Agawam Police Shooting
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) – Hampden County District Attorney Mark Mastroianni has announced that no criminal criminal charges will be filed in the case of a woman shot by Agawam Police.
In a report released Friday, he found that the shooting of Britteney Miles by Officer Danielle Petrangelo was “accidental.”
Back on May 5, Agawam Police responded to a call at Apartment D1 at 238 Maple Street in Agawam.
The call, made by 21-year-old Britteney Miles, asked for “help” from police for a “man in the house,” according to Mastroianni’s report.
Investigators found that in the later hours of the night before, Miles and her boyfriend David Kozak, had a gathering at the apartment.
Around 11:00 p.m., Miles asked everyone to leave, including Kozak. A short time later, he came back and attempted to get back into the apartment through a window.
Miles again then asked Kozak to leave and Miles arranged for him to be picked up.
At 4:00 a.m., Kozak came back again and tried to get in this time through a bedroom window. At that time, he saw Miles, who had been awakened by the noise, on the phone.
Kozak grabbed the phone and threw it to the floor, breaking it.
For a third time, Miles asked Kozak to leave and told him she had called the police and would explain that “it was a misunderstanding.”
When Officer Danielle Petrangelo and Thomas Forgues arrived, they found one window open and one broken and shattered.
The officers reported “sounds emanating from inside Ms. Miles’ apartment which suggested, to them, a volatile situation: “things being thrown around from inside the apartment,” “the sound of someone or some person banging into thing;” “and a woman screaming.”
The officers drew their weapons, and Petrangelo began yelling that the police were there and to open the door.
Mastroianni adds that Miles says that “being in the normal process of opening the door, the weapon of Officer Petrangelo discharged.”
However, he notes that Petrangelo said that the door “opened partially, closing quickly, then being reopened at the point the weapon was discharged.”
The bullet from Petrangelo’s gun hit Miles in the face
The inconsistencies of the two accounts, Mastroianni says, has no consequence on any possible criminal conduct by Petrangelo.
“Without question, Ms. Miles should not have been shot; however, the discharge of Officer Petrangelo’s gun was not intentional. Based upon all the facts and circumstances known to me, I find there was an accidental firing of the weapon,” says Mastroianni in his report.
Mastroianni says that in order to proceed with criminal charges, he looked at two factors.
First, whether Petrangelo violated the statute relating to discharging a weapon within 500 feet of a dwelling.
The statute does specifically exempt “any law enforcement officer acting in the discharge of his duties.”
The D.A. noted that when Officer Petrangelo was on-duty that morning and “her presence at Ms. Miles’ apartment was in response to a 911 call,” thereby making Petrangelo exempt from the state statute relating to discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling.
Second, he had to determine whether the gun firing amounted to a charge of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, or even it was reckless negligence.
Mastroianni found that in order for a crime to have been committed, intent would have to be there. He found that Petrangelo did not intentionally shoot Miles and that any reckless actions “must have been intended by the person, and not accidental.”
Even with Mastroianni’s decision not to file criminal charges, he does note that the Agawam Police Department does reserve the right to “evaluate the facts and circumstances to determine if administrative action, directives, sanctions and/or findings are appropriate” based on their rules and standards.