Stamford, CT – A Connecticut pastor was crossing the street to pick up his mail on Wednesday when he was fatally hit by a Stamford police officer who was on his way to a call.
The collision occurred near Wire Mill Road and Studio Road at approximately 4:12 p.m. on July 26, the Stamford Police Department (SPD) said in a press release on Thursday.
Police said the area is surrounded by woods and that there are no sidewalks alongside the narrow roadway.
Investigators said SPD Officer Zachary Lockwood, 24, was traveling eastbound on Wire Mill Road on his way to a call in a marked vehicle when he spotted a pedestrian in the road ahead of him, WFSB reported.
Officer Lockwood swerved into the oncoming lane in an effort to avoid striking him, but was unable to prevent the collision, according to police.
The officer immediately rendered aid and performed CPR on the injured victim, WFSB reported.
The pedestrian was rushed to Stamford Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, the SPD said in an earlier press release.
He has been identified as 69-year-old Reverend Tommie Jackson, WFSB reported.
The SPD described Jackson as a “friend and advisor” to many members of the police department and said the agency is “profoundly saddened” by his loss.
“Pastor Tommie Jackson was such a beacon of light for so many in the Stamford community, for past 25 plus years,” SPD Assistant Chief Silas Redd said in the press release. “His steadfast commitment to serve those under the guidance of his pastorate, extended far and wide.”
“The void that has been left by his untimely passing will be difficult to fill; only the passage of time will bring comfort and healing,” Assistant Chief Redd continued. “I ask that we all keep both the family of Pastor Jackson, his church family, Officer Lockwood, and his family in our thoughts and prayers during these most difficult times.”
Jackson was a pastor at two local churches, WFSB reported.
Stamford Mayor Caroline Simmons said she was “devastated and heartbroken” by Jackson’s death and described him as a “pillar” of the community who “led a life devoted to faith and public service.”
“He was a larger-than-life presence who was steadfast in his advocacy for social and racial justice and touched the lives of so many through his work as Pastor at Rehoboth Fellowship Church and Faith Tabernacle Church, as well as Assistant Director of the Urban Redevelopment Commission,” Simmons said. “Rev. Jackson’s decades of service and leadership made an indelible impact on the City of Stamford. I was honored to call him a friend and I will greatly miss his positive energy, wonderful sense of humor, and infectious smile.”
Jackson’s wife, Dorye Jackson, is a member of the Stamford Police Commission.
He also leaves behind his two daughters.
The Connecticut State Police (CSP) are handling the ongoing investigation into the fatal collision, the SPD confirmed.
Officer Lockwood, who joined the department on April 18, 2022, has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.