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Police: Stamford officer had emergency lights on, was responding to accident when he struck and killed pastor

State police Lt. Katherine Cummings said during a news conference that Officer Zachary Lockwood had his emergency lights on at the time of the crash.

Marissa Alter

Jul 28, 2023, 4:47 PM

Updated 356 days ago


The Stamford police officer who hit and killed a beloved local pastor this week was responding to a car accident at the time and had his emergency lights on, according to Connecticut State Police. 
Those were the few new details that state police released at a news conference Friday morning about Rev. Tommie Jackson’s death. State police are leading the investigation with Stamford police helping, which is standard in a case like this. At the briefing, they pledged their commitment to transparency and integrity during the process.
Watch below for the complete police news conference:
“All of us want answers as to what occurred this week,” said Chief Timothy Shaw. “I want to assure the people of Stamford that your department has worked and will continue to work alongside the state police and the state's attorney's office in determining what happened on Wednesday afternoon.”
State police said Officer Zachary Lockwood was in a marked Stamford police vehicle when he crashed into Jackson on Wire Mill Road around 4:10 p.m. Jackson had just gone to his mailbox across the street and was walking back to his house. Lockwood performed CPR on Jackson until medics arrived and rushed him to the hospital, but the 69-year-old died there.
“Investigative steps moving forward include but are not limited to the collection and analysis of evidence from the scene, a review of all police audio and video recordings of the incident, and a complete reconstruction analysis of the collision,” said State Police Lt. Katherine Cummings at the news conference. News 12 is told Stamford police vehicles automatically record when the emergency system is on.
“As we grieve the death of Rev. Jackson, I ask our residents to be patient as the investigation continues,” Shaw stated.
His request came as the community grapples with heartbreak, disbelief, and for some, anger. Several faith leaders and community members attended the briefing hoping to get their questions answered.
“Justice in my opinion is to find out what the truth is and what really happened,” said Pastor Helen Streeter. “How do you hit an adult that's big and tall and strong and kill them like that?”
“We all just want to get to the same place and that truth and a sense of clarity,” said Paster Johnny Bush of Greater Faith Tabernacle Church. “And I think I should credit the state police and our own local police that they're working to do that. I have confidence in that.”
Jackson was the pastor at Rehoboth Fellowship Church and before that, Faith Tabernacle Baptist Church He was also the assistant director of the city's Urban Redevelopment Commission. “He was a larger-than-life figure, someone who had an indelible impact on our community and someone who touched the lives of so many through his lifelong commitment to faith and public service,” stated Mayor Caroline Simmons, who also spoke at the news conference.
Jackson was also an advisor to Stamford police and his wife is a police commissioner.
“Pastor Jackson was a friend and partner to us here at the Stamford Police Department, and the time we were able to spend with him will be forever cherished,” said Assistant Chief Silas Redd, who also called Jackson “a beacon of light” and “a voice for the voiceless.”
Redd also asked for privacy for Jackson's family and church family, along with Lockwood and his family, “as they grieve and navigate through these most difficult times.”
Lockwood is on paid administrative leave, which is protocol. The 24-year-old has been with Stamford police since April 2022.

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