'You need a ride?': Man shoots at cop who offered help, video shows

Hartford Police praised the officer for her courage and professionalism


By Jesse Leavenworth
Hartford Courant

HARTFORD, Conn. — Hartford police released a video Monday that shows an officer’s close call with a gunman last month.

The body cam video of the Oct. 26 incident opens with the unnamed officer asking a man off camera if he needs help.

“You need a ride? What’s going on?” the officer says while parked in a lot at 1921 Main St. at about 1:30 a.m.

She then asks the man if he is on medication or drunk and says, “All right, you need an ambulance? Probably? All right.”

She asks him to sit on the cruiser while she calls for an ambulance, but moments later, the officer screams as a shot is fired and the driver’s side window shatters.

The officer, who suffered abrasions on her face, pulled the car forward while the man ran, but she kept eyes on him and directed other responding officers, who captured Jose Cajigas nearby and recovered the firearm he used, police said. Cajigas, 31, of Bridgeport was arrested on charges of attempted murder, criminal possession of a firearm and unlawful discharge of a firearm.

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Cajigas is a person of interest in a recent homicide in the city and has a long criminal history, including firearm, robbery and narcotics violations, police said.

Mayor Luke Bronin and Hartford Police Union President Anthony Rinaldi lauded the officers’ actions and Rinaldi called her a hero. She has been on the force for less than two years, police Chief Jason Thody said.

“She showed extraordinary presence of mind and courage after having been fired upon to maneuver her vehicle safely and to keep eyes on the individual who did this while radioing for backup and helping to coordinate the arrest of this individual after the attack,” Bronin said. “That is incredible professionalism, incredible commitment, incredible courage.”

©2021 Hartford Courant. Visit courant.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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