On Tuesday, May 16, 2020 police filed charges against 23-year old Shawn O’Connell for allegedly holding a sword over his head, swinging it back and forth, then charging an Oxford Police Department Officer at a “full sprint, trying to slash him.”
The 23-year-old man now faces attempted murder and other charges in connection with the encounter that began on Sunday at approximately 6 a.m.
The officer, who was on patrol in a fully marked police cruiser when O’Connell, who was walking on a sidewalk, suddenly leapt into the middle of the road forcing the officer to slam onto his breas to avoid hitting him.
At that point, O’Connell brandished his sword slashing it back and forth in the air. While the officer was placing his cruiser into reverse so he could create distance between him and O’ Connell, he realized he was stuck between O’Connell and commuters in cars behind his vehicle.
Exiting his cruiser he engaged O’Connell with verbal commands to drop his sword and stop his approach. At the command, O’Connell charged into a full sprint at the officer with the sword high over his head. Uttering more verbal commands which O’Connell ignored, the officer fired one shot as he and his sword were within striking distance.
The officer immediately called for an ambulance and rendered first aid. The ambulance arrived within 6 minutes and O’Connel was transported to UMass Hospital in Worcester where he still remians receiving treatment. The officer, whose name was not made public, was not injured in the incident.
Per Oxford Police Department policy and protocol, the officer was placed on paid administrative leave pending a critical assessment and evaluation said Chief of Police Anthony Saad.
No arraignment date has been scheduled. It could not immediately be determined if he had a lawyer.