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Update: Knife-Wielding Man Shot by Pittsfield Police Identified

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Update at 5:16 p.m. with more information and the victim's identity.
 
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police officers say they shot and killed a knife wielding man who charged at officers after nonlethal attempts were made to incapacitate him.   
 
The victim has been identified as 22-year-old Miguel Estrella. The Berkshire State Police Detective Unit is conducting a criminal investigation into Estrella's death pursuant to standard protocols in officer-involved shootings.
 
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will perform an autopsy on Sunday. The State Police Detective Unit is conducting a comprehensive and ongoing investigation with the support of Massachusetts State Police Crime Scene Services and Massachusetts State Police Firearms Identification Section. 
 
On Friday, March 25, 2022, at approximately 9:46 p.m., Pittsfield Police Department officers were dispatched to the 279 Onota St. for an initial report that a man had cut himself and was outside of his residence. 
 
According to information from the District Attorney's Office, there had been multiple 911 calls requesting assistance. Callers alerted dispatch that Estrella had a history of mental illness, was cutting himself and was currently located outside of the apartment building. County Ambulance was also dispatched and responded to the scene and offered emergency medical services and transport to the hospital which Estrella declined.
 
Initial responding officers located Estrella with an apparent self-inflicted laceration to his face and had requested County Ambulance. At approximately 10:06 p.m., he refused medical attention and was left in the care of his girlfriend, who agreed to remain with him for the night.
 
Shortly after officers and emergency medical personnel departed, a third 911 call came in requesting that officers return due to Estrella "acting crazy again," according to the caller who also stated that "he needs to be taken to the hospital." 
 
Pittsfield Police and County Ambulance were again dispatched to 279 Onota at approximately 10:10 p.m. Two Pittsfield Police officers arrived ahead of County Ambulance and encountered Estrella near the entrance of the apartment building at 279 Onota. According to the DA's Office, an eyewitness account confirmed that Estrella had a knife in his hands when police were there. 
 
The initial responding units requested additional units and equipment. When the armed subject advanced on the officers, officers attempted two TASER deployments on the armed subject. When neither TASER deployment was successful in incapacitating the man, one officer fired their duty sidearm, striking the subject twice and stopping his advance, according to police.
 
The name of the officer who fired the fatal shots has not yet been released. The Pittsfield Police Department placed both of the responding officers on administrative leave pending the preliminary report of the department's internal Force Investigation Team pursuant to the order of Pittsfield Police Chief Michael Wynn and Pittsfield Police Department policies.
 
The initial responding officers immediately attempted to render lifesaving aid and County Ambulance took Estrella to Berkshire Medical Center where he subsequently died. Additional Pittsfield Police Department Patrol Units and Investigative Units, as well as Massachusetts State Police Units responded to contain the scene.
 
While taking control of the scene, the Pittsfield Police Department requested assistance from the Berkshire State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office. At approximately 11:20 p.m., the Pittsfield Police Department was notified by Berkshire Medical Center that the man had succumbed to his injuries and was deceased.
 
"I send my deep condolences to the friends and family of Mr. Estrella for their loss. The State Police Detective Unit is conducting a thorough investigation to determine exactly what happened that led to this tragic death," District Attorney Andrea Harrington said.
 
The Berkshire District Attorney's Office has taken over jurisdiction the case. It is under investigation by the Berkshire State Police Detective Unit, the Pittsfield Police Department, Massachusetts State Police Crime Lab, and Massachusetts State Police Ballistics Section, with assistance by the Berkshire Law Enforcement Task Force. 
 
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact the State Police Detective Unit at 413-499-1112.

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MEMA Eyes Western Mass for Abandoned Migrants

By Sabrina DammsiBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Some of the migrants abandoned on Martha's Vineyard in September could find homes in Western Massachusetts. 
 
On Sept. 14, approximately 50 South American asylum-seekers were sent to the island of Martha's Vineyard from San Antonio, Texas, under the direction of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. No one was informed of their imminent arrival, leaving the small island community to scramble to find shelter and services for them.
 
Central Berkshire Regional Emergency Planning Committee Chair Michael Britton informed the committee on Wednesday morning that the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency has been preparing for Western Mass as the next location to relocate some of these people.
 
The asylum-seekers had been transported to Joint Base Cape Cod to provide them more services, including legal services. Many of them had court dates in Texas that they would have missed being in the Northeast.
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