Stamford police officer Zachary Lockwood has been placed on paid administrative leave as authorities investigate a deadly crash resulting in the death of Rev. Dr. Tommie Jackson.
A beloved reverend has died after he was struck by a police cruiser while checking his mail in Connecticut.
Rev. Tommie Jackson was hit on Wire Mill Road in Stamford by a cruiser driven by Officer Zachary Lockwood just before 4:15 p.m. local time on Wednesday, according to a statement from the Stamford Police Department (SPD).
At a press conference on Friday, Lieutenant Katherine Cummings said Lockwood was responding to another motor vehicle incident in town when he hit the reverend.
The 69-year-old was at his mailbox when the cruiser hit him, Connecticut State Police said in an accident report.
State police said Lockwood “made an evasive steering maneuver” before the 2017 Ford Explorer Interceptor Utility he was driving struck Jackson.
Preliminary reports suggest that Lockwood’s emergency lights “were activated” at the time of the collision, Cummings said Friday.
Lockwood performed life-saving measures on Jackson “until medics arrived,” according to the SPD. The reverend was transported to Stamford Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
The officer was also transported to the hospital for evaluation and later released, Cummings added.
Lockwood, who has been with the department since April 2022, is now on paid administrative leave, which Cummings said is “customary protocol” for incidents like this.
Darnell Crosland, an attorney for Jackson’s family, said he and his clients “have more questions now than we have answers,” according to CBS affiliate WCBS-TV.
“The very people that you rely on to protect you is now responsible for taking the life of one of the leaders of our community, and we want answers,” he explained.
The Faith Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church in Stamford extended its “sincere condolences” to the family of Rev. Jackson, who worked at the church from 1997 to 2017.
Jackson was also a pastor at Rehoboth Fellowship Church in Stamford, and serves as assistant director of the Urban Redevelopment Commission, Mayor Caroline Simmons said at Friday’s press conference.
Jackson was a “beloved member of our faith community” and “touched the lives of so many” people, she added.
“He was a larger than life figure, someone who had an indelible impact on our community, and someone who touched the lives of so many through his lifelong commitment to faith and public service,” Simmons said.
SPD Chief Timothy Shaw also offered his condolences to Jackson’s family, including the reverend’s wife Dorye Jackson, who currently serves as a police commissioner for the city.
“Rev. Jackson was a vital member of the Stamford community and our entire city feels the impact of his passing,” Shaw said at Friday’s press conference, later adding, “Our community is shaken due to this tragic passing.”
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont mourned Jackson’s death in a statement shared on Twitter. “He has made such an impact on Stamford, bringing peace and comfort to those in need and advocating on behalf of underserved communities,” he wrote Thursday.
An investigation into the collision is ongoing, according to the SPD. Anyone who may have witnessed the incident, or the moments prior, are asked to contact Detective Corey Clabby at firstname.lastname@example.org or Detective Ryan Hackett at email@example.com.