Contact: Beth Stone 508-584-8120
BROCKTON – Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz has completed his investigation of the December 28, 2020 fatal police shooting of Bryan Cruz-Soto, 28, of Brockton, and released his findings today.
“When Brockton Police officers fired their weapons on December 28, 2020, they reasonably believed that they were in imminent danger of being injured or killed by Cruz-Soto,” DA Cruz said. “Based upon the facts presented and the case law pertaining to the use of deadly force necessary to defend oneself or others, and the independent evaluation of an outside expert, our office has determined that the force used by two Brockton Police officers in this incident was appropriate and lawful.”
At approximately 2:52 p.m. on December 28, 2020, Brockton Police received a 911 call to respond to a domestic violence incident occurring at 33 Overlook Avenue. The caller stated that a female victim was bleeding and fighting and screaming was heard on the 911 call. The domestic violence was perpetrated by Cruz-Soto, who had attacked a woman, causing her injury, and fought with her two sisters. Brockton Police, Brockton Fire and Brockton Emergency Medical Services responded. Brockton Police Officer Ronald Cunningham, a 7-year veteran of the Department, encountered Cruz-Soto inside the home, armed with a knife. As Officer Cunningham attempted to place Cruz-Soto into custody, Cruz-Soto used the knife and attempted to stab Officer Cunningham. Officer Cunningham pushed Cruz-Soto out the back door of the house in an attempt to distance himself from the knife. Outside the house, Officer Cunningham attempted unsuccessfully to disarm the suspect by kicking the knife away from Cruz-Soto. Officer Cunningham gave several verbal commands to “drop the knife” or “stay down,” which Cruz-Soto disregarded, and instead, moved aggressively at the officer. Officer Isiah Callahan, a 5-year veteran of Brockton Police Department, encountered Officer Cunningham and Cruz-Soto outside the home. Cruz-Soto was still armed with the knife. Officers Cunningham and Callahan fired their weapons and Cruz-Soto was struck. The officers rendered medical aid on scene before Cruz-Soto was transported to Good Samaritan Hospital in Brockton where he was pronounced dead.
Brockton Police contacted Massachusetts State Police Detectives and an investigation commenced. The investigation included a review of the following: state and local police reports, recorded interviews of civilian witnesses and police officers, surveillance footage, hospital records, the Medical Examiner’s report, evidence found at the scene, information from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and State Police Crime Scene Services and Ballistics Unit. The Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office additionally retained the services of Charles M. DiChiara, who is a training officer and coordinator for the City of Waltham Police Department, and an instructor for the Municipal Police Training Committee. DiChiara, who has testified in an expert in both state and federal courts, focused his independent evaluation on whether officers conducted themselves in a manner consistent with the training guidelines set forth by the Municipal Police Training Committee, and legal constitutional standards regarding police use of force
In his report, DiChiara stated, “In final analysis, the actions of Officer Ronald Cunningham and Officer Isiah Callahan in using deadly force against Bryan Cruz-Soto on December 28, 2020 were well within the standard set forth in Graham v. Connor and well within the guidelines of MPTC Use of Force Model, to which all of the officers in the Commonwealth are trained. Their actions were consistent with acceptable standards of police policies, practices, standards and training and in compliance with Massachusetts General Laws. The actions of the officers were also in compliance with the Brockton Police Department Rules and Regulations and General Orders.”
May 27, 2021