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No Charges For Officer Who Shot Dalton Man

Andy McKeever

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The police officer that shot a Dalton man in November will not face criminal charges.

Pittsfield Police Officer Christopher Colello shot 36-year-old Michael Barry three times in the woods behind his Washington Mountain Road home in Dalton on Nov. 3.

District Attorney David F.Capeless announced Tuesday that an investigation was completed and that none of the officers involved will face criminal charges.

The investigation was conducted by Massachusetts State Police Lieutenant Brian Foley, a member of the investigative unit assigned to the district attorney’s office and the commanding officer on the Berkshire County Drug Task Force.

Barry is still facing charges of single counts of attempted murder, attempted arson, aggravated assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon and vandalizing property as well as two counts of assault by means of a dangerous weapon. Barry had threatened to kill himself and others, police said.

On Nov. 5 he had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on those charges.

According to the district attorney's office, Barry was shot by Colello when he jumped up and made a movement that caused the officers to fear he was drawing a weapon in the woods behind the home shortly after 1 a.m. He was hospitalized and underwent surgery at Berkshire Medical Center.

A press release from the district attorney's office at the time states the incident occurred when Dalton Police responded to 104 Washington Mountain Road shortly after midnight because of reports of a drunken man pouring gasoline over the garage.

When Officer Deanna Strout arrived on the scene she encountered Barry, who then ran into the woods behind 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. Colello was assisting on mutual aid, according to Capeless

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 when the shooting occurred.

Capeless did not comment on the status of the charges against Barry.

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