Norwich man accused of firing rifle at police officer

October 28 – NORWICH – A Norwich man was held on million dollar bail after police said he shot a Norwich police car at least seven times on Tuesday evening, narrowly missing an officer who was responding to the Westwood Park area for reports of doorsteps.

Andrew O’Lone, 28, appeared in Norwich Superior Court on Wednesday following a manhunt the day before his surrender, according to police, was over at his home at 123 Westwood Park.

O’Lone appeared before Judge Kevin Murphy at around 11:30 a.m. and was placed under mental health surveillance. His case is transferred to Part A in New London, and he is then due in court on November 8.

Norwich Police said the officer who responded fired back, but neither the officer nor O’Lone was shot. State Police said the New London Judicial District will investigate the shooting involving an officer.

Police charged O’Lone with felony attempted murder, felony attempted assault in the first degree, assaulting a police officer, possession of an assault weapon, possession of a high capacity magazine, first degree criminal mischief and second degree criminal mischief. Police said he did not have a valid pistol license from any jurisdiction.

In a press release sent at 3:27 am Wednesday, police said there was “no danger to the public at this time,” and in a 1:54 pm press release, there was “no reason to believe that ‘there were more suspects or co-conspirators. “

Officers from Norwich were dispatched to 9 Westwood Park around 9:56 p.m. Tuesday to investigate a report of gunfire, police said. The caller said she heard four gunshots and saw a man dressed in black coming from the woods.

Police said the responding officer, whose name is redacted in the report, was driving south on Dunham Street when a person in dark clothing coming out of the woods fired several shots at the marked police car officer, hitting the vehicle several times. The officer retaliated and the suspect fled.

On Tuesday evening, police could be seen walking an officer from a police car into an ambulance.

Norwich Police Lt. Christopher Merrill said Wednesday morning the officer had “only a few scratches and bruises coming out of the patrol car” and the suspect was uninjured. The police report released later that day said the officer “suffered minor abrasion-type injuries to his elbows, knees and pain in his right hip as a result of the incident.” The officer was taken to Backus Hospital in Norwich and “released shortly thereafter”.

Police report says officer’s body camera footage showed the officer crouching “in an attempt to avoid being hit by gunfire entering through the front windshield into the cockpit of the vehicle”.

Police said multiple bullets hit the front windshield just inches from the driver’s seat. While attempting to park the vehicle, the officer “fell from the moving patrol car, regained his balance and retaliated against the accused.”

Merrill also said that no injuries resulted from the initial report of the gunfire.

Other officers from the Norwich Police Department, Connecticut State Police and other local services arrived to help. Police said two Norwich officers found an assault rifle and numerous cartridge cases on Dunham Street near Stanley Place.

The police report says that around 10:45 p.m., the Norwich Police dispatcher received a call from a Maryland resident who identified herself as O’Lone’s mother. She said O’Lone called her to tell her he had “shot the police”, was in her apartment and “wants to surrender”. She gave the dispatchers her son’s phone number.

Norwich Police said one of their detectives contacted the Howard County Police Department in Maryland, who obtained a signed affidavit from the mother.

A Connecticut State Police sergeant called the number the mother provided, and O’Lone was cooperative and said he was ready to surrender, according to the police report. O’Lone “walked out of 123 Westwood Park and was arrested without incident.” Two other Norwich officers took O’Lone to police headquarters.

Police said in the interrogation room that O’Lone invoked her rights with a lawyer before a detective could read her Miranda rights to her, and the interview was cut short.

Police discover bullet holes and examine surveillance footage

According to the police report, the patrol car of the responding officer had at least seven apparent bullet holes, most of them in the front windshield towards the driver’s seat. An SUV belonging to a Dunham Street resident was also hit by gunfire, behind the rear passenger door.

The Connecticut State Police Eastern District Major Crime Squad arrived to assist with crime scene processing and evidence gathering. Investigators found an assault rifle-type firearm, several .223 caliber casings and several .40 caliber casings.

Merrill said the gun was an AR-15 type rifle.

Westwood Park is a facility of the Norwich Housing Authority, and the authority’s executive director, Jeffrey Arn, said Wednesday morning: “We are cooperating as much as possible with the police. They have been looking at our surveillance cameras.”

He said two staff members came on Tuesday evening to help film. Arn said he was reassured by police that there was no danger to the public and that he would not have called his staff to the office on Wednesday if there had been.

Police said surveillance cameras showed a man matching O’Lone’s description walking from the area of ​​his apartment to the Elizabeth Street Extension at around 9:51 p.m. at 10:09 p.m., he walked past the office without a jacket or rifle.

O’Lone entered the apartment at around 10:10 p.m., police said, and was taken into custody at around 11:24 p.m.

The investigation is ongoing and witnesses are urged to call Norwich Police Detective Richard Cannata at (860) 886-5561, ext. 3138.

As of late Wednesday morning, the Eastern District Connecticut State Police major crime van was still seated in Westwood Park and Elizabeth Street Extension, but few State and Norwich Police officers are remained at the scene. Buses from the Southeast Zone Transit District drove through the complex on a blustery morning.

Pam Patterson, a Westwood Park resident, said she was out Tuesday night bringing things so they wouldn’t be blown away when she heard the gunshots so she walked in inside and called the police. She said it was a shot so fast she could tell an automatic weapon was involved.

“It is difficult to say where the shots are coming from because they are echoing on the brick buildings,” she said. She added: “I stayed in the house I belonged to.”

Day staff writer Kimberly Drelich and photographer Sean D. Elliot contributed to this report.

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Editor’s note: This article previously stated that O’Lone is scheduled to appear in court on November 17, but the date has since been brought forward.

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