Pittsfield Police shoot knife-wielding man

PITTSFIELD — Police fatally shot a 36-year-old city man Friday afternoon after he allegedly charged at them with a knife following a brief standoff.

Officers gave Daniel Gillis CPR at the Taylor Street scene before he was transported to Berkshire Medical Center where he was later pronounced dead.

Pittsfield Police Officer Christopher Colello shot Gillis after he allegedly ignored multiple orders to stop and drop his weapon.

Colello was also involved in the November 2010 officer-involved shooting of a suspect who survived his wounds.

Friday's shooting marks the second officer-involved shooting in the city this year.

According to the Berkshire District Attorney's Office, Gillis was reportedly drunk and upset after losing his job earlier in the day.

Pittsfield Police Chief Michael Wynn said officers responded to 43 Taylor St. about 12:50 p.m. for a report of a domestic disturbance.

Gillis allegedly entered the home by kicking in the door and had armed himself with a knife after refusing to let officers inside the house.

Gillis' girlfriend, who was inside the home, was able to get the knife away from him and ran outside the house to throw it away.

Gillis, meanwhile, armed himself with a second knife and barricaded himself inside the house, exited through a back door and confronted officers in the side yard, according to the DA.

Video taken by a bystander reportedly shows Gillis confronting the officers and charging at them, according to the DA.

Colello's duty status in the wake of the shooting was not clear Friday evening.

In the 2010 shooting, a suspect name Michael Barry had doused himself, another person and his Dalton home with gasoline before fleeing into the woods. Colello was one of the responding officers.

Colello pursued Barry, who refused to stop and show his hands, into the woods. A state police investigation into the shooting determined Colello did not act improperly when he fired his weapon.

Barry eventually pleaded guilty to charges of assault with a dangerous weapon and vandalizing property and was sentenced to two years of probation.

In January, Pittsfield Police Officer Martin Streit shot Mark Marauszwski, who was allegedly driving his car toward officers at a high rate of speed after fleeing from a traffic stop.

Marauszwski, who survived, is facing numerous charges, including assault with a dangerous weapon and wanton destruction of property.

An investigation concluded criminal charges against Streit were not warranted in connection with the shooting.

Before that incident, the last officer-involved shooting involving a Pittsfield officer was the 2010 shooting of Barry.

The investigation into today's incident is being conducted by the Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Berkshire District Attorney's Office: they are being assisted by the Massachusetts State Police Firearms Identification and Crime Scene Services Section, chemists assigned to the Massachusetts State Police Crime Laboratory, the Berkshire County Sheriff's Department and the Pittsfield Police Department.

Reach staff writer Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249 or @BobDunn413 on Twitter.

This story has been updated.


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