UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – At 7:50 Monday night, Utica police officers responded to a call at 1601 Neilson Street in East Utica for an emotionally disturbed person who had called 911, threatening that he was armed with firearms, a knife and making suicidal threats. When police arrived, they encountered 61-year-old David Litts outside of the residence armed with a knife, and they worked to de-escalate the situation.
“Multiple officers arrived on the scene they set up a perimeter we brought in one of our officers who is trained in crisis intervention training as well as hostage negotiation they must have talked to the subject for a good five to ten minutes,” said Mark Williams, Utica Police Chief.
The situation resulted in an officer-involved shooting incident. As a result, Litts was transported to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital where he was pronounced deceased. Chief Williams explains that anytime an officer faces deadly physical force they are trained to use deadly physical force.
“To preserve their own life as well as any other party there is talk about tasers the same people asking why we didn’t use a taser don’t know what its limitations are putting out misinformation does not do anybody in the community well,” said Williams.
Chief Williams tells me that the time frame for the Attorney General’s office to conduct their investigation could take anywhere from 6 months to a year and he is asking the public to be patient throughout this process. as of right now UPD is unable to release any further details.
The Attorney General’s Office explained in a release that following state law the office of Special Investigations assesses every incident reported in which police, peace, or corrections officer may have caused the death of another person. The AG’s office said in a statement:
“Under the law, the officer may be on-duty or off-duty, and the decedent may be armed or unarmed. also, the decedent may or may not be in custody or incarcerated.”
If the Office of Special Investigations assessment does indicate the Utica Police Officers caused Mr. Litts’ death, the OSI will go on to conduct a full investigation.