Worcester County

Man suspected of running at Oxford officer with sword charged with attempted murder

OXFORD, Mass. — Authorities have identified a man they say ran at an officer with a sword on Sunday, causing him to be shot by police.

23-year-old Shawn O’Connell is charged with attempted murder of a police officer, assault with a dangerous weapon, carrying a dangerous weapon, and disorderly conduct.

Oxford Police say an officer, who was not responding to a call at the time, was driving southbound on Main Street around 6 a.m. when O’Connell walked into the middle of the roadway, causing the officer to slam on his brakes to avoid hitting him.

O’Connell then began walking towards the cruiser with a sword in hand, swinging it back and forth, according to officials. Police say the officer began backing his cruiser up until he couldn’t any further due to traffic. That’s when the officer got out of his cruiser and began telling O’Connell to “drop the sword.”

After failing to adhere to the officer’s warning, officials allege O’Connell began sprinting at the cruiser with the sword over his head. Police say the officer gave another verbal command to drop the weapon before O’Connell came within striking distance and that’s when the officer fired his gun, hitting O’Connell.

He was transported to a nearby hospital and is recovering.

According to the DA, the officer was not injured and was placed on paid administrative leave per Oxford Police protocol.

State police detectives with the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office are investigating the shooting. Investigators say Oxford police do not have body cameras.

O’Connell will appear in Dudley District Court at a late date.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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