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Dalton Man Shot by Officer

Staff Reports

DALTON, Mass. — A Washington Mountain Road man has been hospitalized after being shot by a police officer early Wednesday morning. 

According to the district attorney's office, Michael Barry, 46, who threated to kill himself and others, was shot by Pittsfield Police Officer Christopher Colello at about 1 a.m. Wednesday after he fled into the woods and seemed to draw a weapon. He is currently listed in critical condition at Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield.

A press release from the district attorney's office states the incident occurred after Dalton Police responded to Barry's home shortly after midnight after receiving a call that a drunken man was pouring gasoline over the garage. When Officer Deanna Strout arrived on the scene she encountered Barry, who ignored her request to display his hands and ran into the woods at the rear of the residence.

Additional officers from Dalton and the Pittsfield Police Department, including a K-9 Unit, were dispatched to assist in the search for him.    

Witnesses at the residence reportedly told police that Barry had been at a Dalton bar late Tuesday night and, after arriving home intoxicated, began smashing and throwing items and saying he wanted to die. He poured gasoline on himself and in the garage and threatened to start a fire and kill himself and others, witnesses told police. 
 
Barry was located in the woods shortly after 1 a.m. by Colello and Pittsfield K-9 Officer James Losaw. According to the officers, Barry jumped up and made a movement that caused the officers to fear he was drawing a weapon. Colello shot several times, wounding Barry. He was treated at the scene by police and emergency personnel and then taken to Berkshire Medical Center, where he underwent surgery. 

Barry is in police custody as he recovers from his wounds, under arrest for various offenses, including attempted arson, attempted murder and assault.  

State police investigators assigned to the district attorney's office are conducting an investigation into the circumstances of Barry's shooting with the assistance of state police ballistics and Crime Scene Services unit.   

Updated, Nov. 5, 2010, at 3:30 p.m.
Barry was arraigned this morning in Central Berkshire District Court in Pittsfield before Judge Frederic Rutberg.  

He had not-guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of attempted murder, attempted arson, aggravated assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon and vandalizing property, and two counts of assault by means of a dangerous weapon.  

Rutberg ordered that he be held without the right to bail. Barry's case was continued to Nov. 10 for further arraignment and status.  

The investigation is being conducted by members of the Dalton and Pittsfield police departments and state police detectives assigned to the district attorney's office.

Barry's attorney, Leonard H. Cohen, told The Eagle on Thursday that Barry had been shot three times and was seriously injured. He described the 46-year-old Dalton man's condition as now being on the "upside."

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