Body camera footage shows man shot, killed by Colchester officer when he pointed a shotgun at police

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A man shot and killed by a Colchester police officer last week pointed a shotgun at officers after suddenly emerging from a door in the basement of his home, according to the Connecticut Office of Inspector General.

Inspector General Robert Devlin Jr. on Wednesday released a preliminary report and body camera footage from the officer-involved shooting last Thursday that took the life of 33-year-old Jared Michael Billard.

Devlin identified the officer who shot and killed Billard as Colchester Police Department Officer Kiruluss Wassef.

In the report, Devlin wrote that police, just prior to the shooting, heard Billard rack a pump action shotgun and shout “Here we go. This is you, this ain’t me.”

According to the preliminary report, just before 6:20 p.m., Colchester Police Officers John Zavalick, Bryan Kowalsky and Wassef were dispatched to 759 Norwich Ave. on the report of a possible disturbance.

When they arrived, a second-floor tenant told them that their landlord, identified as Billard, had been acting erratically since earlier in the day. At one point Billard allegedly lit a grill on the common deck area of the residence and left it unattended, the report said.

Then around 5:20 p.m., he came out of the basement apartment where he resided and began grilling, acting confrontational with the second-floor tenant, according to the report. He also allegedly pushed the tenant at one point and displayed throwing knives, the preliminary report said.

The officers who responded were told Billard was in the basement, where Zavalick and Wassef began speaking with him behind a closed door, the report said. Zavalick could be seen in the body camera footage that Devlin released, removing what appeared to be a knife wedged partially into the door.

Billard told police to leave, but officers said they needed to stay to investigate what was going on.

“No, you need to investigate the (expletive) off,” Billard could be heard saying in the footage. “Get out of my property right now.”

Police only engage with Billard for about 30 seconds before things start to drastically escalate.

The sound of what appears to be a gun racking can be heard before Billard begins yelling “Go, go, go now. Go (expletive) now (expletive).”

“Do not tempt me,” Billard could be heard saying in the tense moments leading to the shooting that include more screaming and banging sounds as an officer tells him to drop the gun.

“Here we go,” he shouts. “This is you, this ain’t me.”

Wassef tells Billard to stay in the room, just before he could be heard shouting “Here we go” one more time. A moment later, he emerges from behind the door pointing a long gun at Wassef, who fires one round at his chest, according to the footage and Devlin’s report.

Wassef retreats out of the basement briefly as one of the officers on scene calls out on the radio “shots fired, shots fired, shots fired.” He then checks on Zavalick, who says, “he’s down.”

Officers provided medical attention to Billard before he was brought to Backus Hospital in Norwich, where he was later pronounced dead.

According to the preliminary report, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner found that Billard died of a gunshot wound to the trunk with an injury to his lung. His death was ruled a homicide.

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