Trooper Killed in On-Duty Crash Posthumously Honored With Service Award

Al York Maine Snow

A Connecticut State trooper killed in the line of duty was posthumously honored for his involvement defusing a situation involving a man police said was trying for “suicide by cop.”

Trooper First Class Kevin Miller, who died in the line of duty in a collision with a tractor-trailer on Interstate 84 in Tolland in March, and Trooper First Class Michael Zella were awarded the Medal for Meritorious Service for their response to a situation in August 2017. 

According to state police, on August 15, 2017, Miller and Zella responded to a call of an intoxicated and despondent man who was threatening to harm himself and anyone who tried to stop him. The man was armed with a knife and inside an apartment with his girlfriend, who had locked herself in the bathroom.

Police said when the troopers knocked on the door the man brandished a large knife and came at them. Miller deployed his stun gun, stopping the man long enough to disarm the man.

“The Troopers rapidly brought a potential deadly force situation to an end, allowing the man to receive the medical help needed,” police said in a release.

Miller and Zella were two of dozens of public servants honored recognized for their service and bravery at a ceremony at the State Police Training academy in Meriden Tuesday. State police present awards to troopers, local and federal law enforcement, first responders and civilians who provide exceptional service on the job.

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