Police/FireThe Putnam Examiner

Attorney General Clears Officers in Shooting Death of Carmel Man

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No charges will be filed against two members of the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office in the shooting death of a Carmel man in the Town of Patterson in January who was stabbing his girlfriend in a wooded area.

On Jan. 10 at approximately 9:45 a.m., Town of Kent police officers were dispatched to a reported domestic violence incident involving an apparent abduction on Amawalk Rd.

The Sheriff’s Office sent units as back up and information concerning the incident was sent to all law enforcement personnel in Putnam County. The male suspect’s vehicle was located on Fields Corner Rd. near Pugsley Rd. in the Town of Southeast by deputies, at which time the suspect, later identified by State Police as Christopher Torres, 34, was observed violently using a knife to assault a female.

Senior Investigator Randel Hill and Deputy Sheriff Shane Haley fired their weapons at Torres after he repeatedly refused to listen to commands to drop the knife. Nine rounds were fired. Torres was pronounced dead at the scene after lifesaving efforts proved unsuccessful.

The female victim, who was covered in blood, suffered 11 stab wounds to her chest, face, arm and hand and was transported to Westchester Medical Center in critical condition. She was treated and had multiple surgeries for her wounds.

Following a thorough investigation by New York Attorney General Letitia James’ Office of Special Investigation (OSI), which included review of body-worn camera footage, 911 calls, interviews with witnesses, and evidence from the scene, OSI officials concluded Friday that a prosecutor would not be able to disprove beyond a reasonable doubt at trial that the actions of the Sheriff’s Office members were justified.

OSI officials stated under New York’s justification law, a person may use deadly physical force to defend against the imminent use of deadly physical force by another person. When the defense of justification is raised at trial, the prosecution must disprove justification beyond a reasonable doubt. In this case, investigators determined Torres was actively harming another person with a knife and ignoring requests to stop.


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