Officers Use Bean Bag Shotgun To Stop Knife-Wielding Man in Downtown Boston

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BOSTON, MA – At about 1:39am on Sunday, November 1, 2020, a Boston Police Sergeant assigned to District A-1 (Downtown) was approached in the Downtown Crossing area by a group of people who reported that there was a man with a knife running down Winter Street towards Washington Street. A member of the group stated that the man approached them and began swinging the knife erratically in their direction.

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Moments later, officers observed a male matching the description of the suspect pacing back and forth in the intersection of Winter and Washington Streets with an unknown object in his hand. As the officers approached the male, they confirmed that he was holding a knife. The officers ordered the suspect to drop the knife and get down on the ground. The suspect ignored the officer’s commands to drop the knife and fled on foot up Washington Street towards Franklin Street.

Throughout a lengthy foot pursuit through the streets of Downtown Boston, the suspect repeatedly stated that he did nothing wrong and told the officers to shoot him. In an attempt to de-escalate the situation, the officers deployed their department issued Oleoresin Capsicum spray towards the suspect, with minimal effect on him.

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After the suspect ignored multiple commands by the officers to drop the knife, the Sergeant on scene deployed multiple shots from a “less-lethal” bean bag shotgun, striking the suspect, and causing him to fall to the ground and drop the knife. Officers were then able to take the suspect into custody without further incident or injury.

The suspect was then transported by EMS to a local hospital for treatment and evaluation. Upon his release, the suspect, Kenneth Kelley, 42 years old, of Londonderry NH, was subsequently charged with four counts of Assault by Means of a Dangerous Weapon, Disturbing the Peace, and Resisting Arrest.
This incident is currently under investigation by the Boston Police Department’s Firearm Discharge Investigation Team.

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