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Stamford city leaders promise thorough investigation into death of pastor struck by police officer

Kate Heichler, Executive Director of the Interfaith Council of Southwestern Connecticut along with Dr. Tommie Jackson, pastor at the Faith Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church in Stamford talk with parishioners at the end of the "Pray for the Land" gathering at the church. Sunday, July 10, 2016.
Provided / Scott Mullin
/
Hearst Connecticut Media
Kate Heichler, Executive Director of the Interfaith Council of Southwestern Connecticut along with Dr. Tommie Jackson, pastor at the Faith Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church in Stamford talk with parishioners at the end of the "Pray for the Land" gathering at the church. Sunday, July 10, 2016.

A Stamford police officer who struck and killed a well-known pastor with his police vehicle is on paid administrative leave.

The announcement was delivered in a news conference Friday by Connecticut State Police Lt. Katherine Cummings.

Emergency lights on the police vehicle were on at the time of the accident, Cummings said. But she did not indicate whether the siren had been activated.

Cummings said 24-year-old Officer Zachary Lockwood, who has been on the force since April 2022, was responding to a car accident Wednesday afternoon when he hit the Rev. Tommie Jackson.

Lockwood attempted life-saving measures on Jackson, 69, until EMS arrived and transported him to Stamford Hospital, where he died from his injuries.

Jackson was a pastor at Rehoboth Fellowship Church and Faith Tabernacle Church, both in Stamford. He was also assistant director of the Stamford Urban Redevelopment Commission.

His death has not only caused heartbreak across the community, but it also hits close to home for the police department.

Jackson’s widow, Dorye Jackson, is a Stamford Police Commissioner.

Stamford Police Chief Timothy Shaw on Friday offered his condolences to Dorye Jackson and her family.

“Rev. Jackson was a vital member of the Stamford community and the entire community feels the impact of his passing,” Shaw said.

Stamford Mayor Caroline Simmons called Jackson a friend who will be missed.

“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.

Simmons and Shaw also extended their condolences to Lockwood and his family over the tragedy.

State police said Lockwood was driving a police department Ford Explorer Wednesday just after 4 p.m. on Wire Mill Road when he struck Jackson as he crossed the street after getting his mail from his mailbox.

Police said Lockwood was navigating a curve in the road at the time as he was heading to the motor vehicle accident.

The Stamford State’s Attorney’s office has requested that Connecticut State Police assist in the investigation with the collision.

State Police, Western District Major Crime Squad and the State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Squad are leading the investigation.

“These units will work in collaboration and in conjunction with the Stamford Police Department over the upcoming weeks to complete a thorough and accurate investigation,” Cummings said.

State police say they're promising a thorough investigation, which will include collection and analysis of evidence from the scene, a review of all police audio and video recordings of the incident, as well as a complete reconstruction analysis of the collision.

Erica McIntosh is Senior Regional Editor for Southern Connecticut. Erica was born and raised in Connecticut.

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