Traffic stop in Troy leads to police involved shooting, one man dead

TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A traffic stop gone wrong left one man dead and a Troy Police officer injured.

Police said a routine procedure turned into a deadly altercation when the driver decided to try and escape.

According to police, around 3:15 a.m. Sunday, Troy Sgt. Randy French was conducting a traffic stop on 6th Avenue between Hutton Street and Hoosick Street. Police said during the stop, the driver, Edson Thevenin, tried to run over the officer with his car and sped off.

According to police, Sgt. French chased the vehicle north on 6th Avenue and then east on Hoosick Street where police said Thevenin attempted to make a U-turn onto the Collar City Bridge heading westbound. Police said two patrol cars tried to block him in: one from the front and one from the back.

According to police, Sgt. French then got out of his car to try to apprehend Thevenin. Then, police said Thevenin drove into the officer and pinned him between two cars.

Police said Sgt. French then opened fire, which killed Thevenin.

“At the conclusion of the pursuit, the subject was ordered repeatedly to stop,” Troy Police Chief John Tedesco said. “Did not do so, and in defense of himself, Sgt. French discharged his weapon.”

Edson Thevenin 2
Edson Thevenin (PHOTO: Facebook)

More officers responded to help move the suspect’s car and free the officer. Thevenin was initially stopped for driving while intoxicated, according to police.

“It would appear that the actions of Sgt. French are certainly in line with the law department policy and his training,” Tedesco said. “We are fully supporting the sergeant and his actions.”

But Thevenin’s pastor Tre Staton of Empire Christian Center  said the family has many unanswered questions.

“He’s a man that goes to church every Sunday,” Pastor Tre Staton of the Empire Christian Center said. “He served in church. He’s on the usher team, and he works. He’s got a big smile. Big heart. The police haven’t been very helpful towards the family, I don’t think. The family still hasn’t seen Edson, which is quite disturbing.”

“I asked his brother who he was with earlier,” he continued. “I said, you know, ‘Was Edson drinking or anything?’ He said, ‘Well, Edson doesn’t drink.’”

Staton said cameras would be helpful, but Troy police said there isn’t any dash camera video.

“There are cameras at that intersection, but they are not up and functional at this time,” Tedesco said.

Thevenin’s friend Celinda Okwuosa was in disbelief over learning of his death.

“I think we definitely need to have cameras because, you know, what it is? It’s the police word against the dead, and the dead can’t speak.”

Sgt. French suffered a non-life threatening injury. He has been released from the hospital.

Police are awaiting an autopsy report. The Rensselaer County District Attorney’s office will be investigating.

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