Iron County Prosecutor Makes Decision on the June Officer Involved Shooting of David Bridgette
Iron County Prosecutor, Chad DeRouin announced Friday officers were justified in shooting David Bridgette back in June. A 911 call was made to dispatch via James Knowles, who was playing an online game with Bridgette. Bridgette at one point told Knowles “I cant take it anymore.” before flipping furniture. The call to dispatch was made for a well being check, as Bridgette suffered from PTSD, and Knowles told dispatch that Bridgette’s wife was unable to make the phone call herself. Officer Harrington from the Iron River Police Department and Deputy Mansell of the Iron County Sheriff, were dispatched to a well-being check at the home in Iron River.
After talking with Bridgette’s wife, the pair were informed that Bridgette was upset and there were firearms in the home. The two officers entered the home, Bridgette confronted the officers. Officer Harrington commanded Bridgette to drop his weapon, to which Bridgette did not comply, advancing toward Harrington with his weapon raised, and pointed at the officer. Officer Harrington and Deputy Mansell then fired their service pistols. Officers did attempt life saving measures at the scene, but were unsuccessful.
DeRouin used the United States Supreme Court ruling of Graham vs. Connor 1989 to give perspective in the case. The ruling stats that “the reasonableness of force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, rather than 20/20 hindsight…police officers are often forced to make split second judgments in circumstances that are tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving about the amount of force that is necessary in a particular situation.” Prosecutor DeRouin reports that the actions taken by Officer Harrington and Deputy Mansell were necessary to protect Officer Harrington’s life from the danger presented by Bridgette. 32 pieces of evidence were used in this decision, including incident reports, dispatch logs, body cam footage, and medical examiner reports. All of the evidence and application of law led to the Iron County Prosecutor to not charge either officer.