Update: Manchester officer justified in shooting that wounded man with knife

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A local police officer was justified when she shot and wounded a man at an apartment complex last year as he advanced on her with a knife, telling her to "hit me," the state Office of the Inspector General determined.

Officer Haylee Ouellete fired her service handgun eight times at 58-year-old Joseph Diloreto during the incident on July 16, 2023, Inspector General Robert Devlin wrote in a report released Wednesday. One of the shots struck Diloreto in the upper leg, causing him to fall to the ground, a portion of Ouellete's body-worn camera footage shows. He subsequently was taken into custody.

Ouellete had been dispatched to the apartment on North Main Street after a 911 call reported a possible domestic disturbance. She encountered Diloreto, who was in a "highly agitated state" and threatened to kill Ouellete, Devlin wrote in the report. Diloreto then advanced on her from a doorway of the apartment into the apartment complex courtyard.

At the time of the shooting, Ouellete was 28 years old and had been with the Manchester Police Department for 4 years. She had "no relevant disciplinary history," the report noted.

Devlin's report and Ouellete's body-worn camera footage from the encounter show she first attempted to subdue Diloreto with her Taser, which was ineffective.

He then advanced on her with a knife, despite her shouting at him multiple times to drop it, the video shows.

"Hit me, hit me, hit me!" Ouellete's body camera footage captured Diloreto yelling at her, as he advanced on her with his hands up.

He fell to the ground after Ouellete opened fire on him. The clip ends with Ouellete reaching down to the ground to pick up an object, and radioing that she had recovered the knife.

"Based on the facts developed during the investigation, I have determined that Officer Ouellete used deadly force to defend herself from what she reasonably believed to be the threat of serious injury of death," Devlin wrote in his report. "Accordingly, I find such use of force to be objectively reasonable and justified."

The report noted Diloreto denied making threats or being armed, a claim Devlin rejected in the report based on the evidence.

State police detectives who processed the scene recovered evidence from the courtyard and outside the apartment.

The scene evidence showed Ouellete's shots appeared to have struck the exterior of the apartment, as well as a landscaping timber and the concrete door landing, the report said.

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