Well-known Stamford pastor fatally struck by police cruiser
A well-known pastor was fatally hit by a Stamford police patrol car Wednesday, according to Connecticut State Police.
It happened just after 4 p.m. in the 400 block of Wire Mill Road.
State Police said Rev. Tommie Jackson, 69, was trying to cross Wire Mill Road after going to his mailbox when he was hit by Officer Zachary Lockwood, 24, who was traveling eastbound while responding to a call for service.
State Police said there is a curve in the road there. They said when Lockwood saw Jackson, he made an evasive steering maneuver, ended up in the westbound lane, then hit Jackson.
Jackson later died at the hospital.
In an update from Stamford police Thursday afternoon, Chief Timothy Shaw said Lockwood, who joined the department in April of last year, was placed on administrative leave. Shaw said Lockwood performed CPR on Jackson before paramedics arrived.
Jackson was the pastor at Rehoboth Fellowship Church in Stamford. He was previously the pastor at Faith Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church in Stamford for more than two decades. His there colleagues said he was instrumental in expanding the church and growing its pre-school program.
"It was something, especially that I talked to him the day before," said Phyllis Craig, the Mark of Excellence Pre-School and Academy director. "I said, 'I love you.' He said, 'I love you, too, sister Craig.'"
Jackson also served the city as the assistant director of the Urban Redevelopment Commission.
He leaves behind his wife, who is on the police commission, and their two daughters.
"All we need now is just to pray for the family, that's the main thing," Craig said. "To help them go through what they have to go through."
Stamford Mayor Caroline Simmons sent News 12 Connecticut a statement, which says:
"I am devastated and heartbroken by the untimely passing of Rev. Tommie Jackson. Rev. Jackson was a pillar in the Stamford community and led a life devoted to faith and public service. He was a larger-than-life presence who was steadfast in his advocacy for social and racial justice and touched the lives of so many through his work as pastor at Rehoboth Fellowship Church and Faith Tabernacle Church, as well as assistant director of the Urban Redevelopment Commission. Rev.Jackson's decades of service and leadership made an indelible impact on the City of Stamford. I was honored to call him a friend and I will greatly miss his positive energy, wonderful sense of humor, and infectious smile. Our thoughts and prayers are with Rev. Jackson's family, especially his wife Dorye, who honorably serves our city as a Stamford Police Commissioner, and their daughters Evinn and Erin. My thoughts and prayers are also with Officer Lockwood and his family during this very difficult time."
Dr. Tamu Lucero, Stamford Superintendent of Schools, also issued a statement which says:
"Reverend Tommie Jackson was a man devoted to his faith community and the greater Stamford community, both of which he tended to with tremendous kindness, compassion and care. As pastor of Faith Tabernacle Baptist Church, Reverend Jackson held back-to-school rallies for his young members to build excitement for the upcoming year and he celebrated their successes by distributing supplies and backpacks. He was an inspirational presence in our schools on Martin Luther King Day, as we honored and recognized Dr. King’s work. A steadfast supporter of Stamford Public Schools, Reverend Jackson was a dear friend whose counsel I will miss terribly. This is a heartbreaking loss for all of us. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Dorye, and daughters Evinn and Erin, at this difficult time. Our thoughts are also with Officer Lockwood, his family and the Stamford Police Department, as they work through the aftermath of this tragedy."
Anyone with information is asked to contact Det. Corey Clabby at email@example.com or Det. Ryan Hackett at firstname.lastname@example.org.