New Details Emerge in Deadly 2013 State Police Shooting
(WGGB) — New details about what happened the night State Police shot and killed a Springfield man last summer.
Wayne Edwards III was pulled over near the 291 and 91 interchange on August 11, 2013.
More than six months later, his family says they’ve been kept in the dark about what happened.
State Police said that Edwards was pulled over for excessively speeding down the highway in his BMW.
It’s what happened after, that has his family pleading for information.
“If they were in our shoes, our shoes, what would they do? How would they feel?” says Dorcas Jones, Edwards’ mother.
Jones explains the only thing she’s wanted to know since her son was shot and killed six months ago on I-291 by the State Police is what exactly happened.
“I hurt. My children hurt. My grandchildren hurt. My daughter-in-law hurts and there’s nothing that anyone can say, nothing. We want answers, and it shouldn’t take this long to get answers. It shouldn’t,” Jones says.
ABC40 did get some of those answers from State Police.
An internal State Police investigation into the incident found that Edwards resisted instructions and orders from Trooper Thiago Miranda during the traffic stop, leading to a violent and physical altercation.
Trooper Miranda felt his life was in immediate danger, so he opened fire, then stepped back to call for help, but after being shot, Edwards drove off and crashed. He was transported to the hospital and pronounced dead.
The question for Edwards’ family remains – was the force justified?
Hampden County District Attorney Mark Mastroianni says making that determination takes time and that authorities must develop an investigative protocol to determine if the shooting was an appropriate use of force.
“These are not done quickly by any means. They take a long time and they take a long time for many reasons,” Mastroianni says.
Investigative details can include witness interviews, ballistics testing, an accident reconstruction report, and other forensic work such as DNA review
Mastroianni explains, “Once evidence is sent out to be tested, it’s on it’s own timeline and so you have to wait for all of that to come back. We want to talk to people and then maybe talk to them again about the situation. There are cases where we will take a different investigatory approach than we did in a prior investigation that this office has done. Because there is no set standard and every case presents with very different circumstances but what stays true is we give absolute complete thorough and thoughtful analysis to this matter and that takes time.”
Time, Mastroianni says, will ultimately answer the question of what happened in Edwards’ struggle with police.
Two unlicensed handguns were also recovered from Edwards’ car. The State Police say they too are eagerly awaiting the report and remain hopeful that an appropriate use of force was used.
Mastroianni says the investigation is moving along, but can’t name an official timeline for his final report.
A female passenger that was also in the vehicle suffered a minor arm injury in the whole incident.
Trooper Miranda was put on paid leave following the internal investigation, and has since returned to regular duty.