The New York State attorney general has ruled that two Putnam County sheriff’s deputies were justified in their actions to shoot and kill a Lake Carmel man who was seen stabbing a woman on the side of the road in the Town of Southeast earlier this year.
“It is abundantly clear that the actions of the deceased brought about his death,” said Sheriff Kevin McConville. “Had the two deputies not acted quickly to end this threat, there is every reason to believe the victim would have died from her wounds and the continued stabbing.”
At about 9:45 a.m. Jan. 10, a deputy sheriff senior investigator responded, as backup for the Kent Police Department, to a location on Fields Corner Road after a vehicle matching the description of a vehicle wanted in connection with a possible kidnapping on a deserted road in Southeast was located. The senior investigator exited his vehicle and saw a female being held on the ground by a male assailant.
As a second deputy sheriff arrived on the scene, the assailant – later identified as Christopher Torres, 34 – refused all commands to drop the knife he was holding and raised his arm in what appeared to be preparation to stab the victim once again. At that time, the deputies used “deadly physical force” and fired several rounds at Torres.
When it was determined that he no longer posed a threat, he received first aid and attempted life-saving measures at the scene, but succumbed to his injuries.
The victim – who received 11 stab wounds to her chest, face, arm and hand – was treated at the scene prior to being transported by ambulance to Westchester Medical Center in critical condition. She has since had multiple surgeries for her wounds.
McConville called the deputies involved “heroes who made a split-second decision that saved someone’s life.” Their training, knowledge and ability all came into play, he said, adding, “I have total confidence in the ability of the men and women of the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office.”
The investigation by new York State Attorney General Letitia James’ Office of Special Investigation included the review of body-worn camera footage, 911 calls, interviews with witnesses and evidence from the scene.