Three Newburgh police officers involved in a fatal shooting in March have been cleared of wrongdoing by a grand jury, Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler announced Friday.

What You Need To Know

  • Three officers were justified in shooting and killing Tyrell Fincher on March 27, DA David Hoovler said

  • Hoovler explained that Fincher tried to fire his pistol at police, but the gun jammed and would not fire

  • Three officers fired five shots at Fincher, hitting him four times in the torso

  • Hoovler added that one officer was shot once, likely by another officer, since Fincher’s pistol never fired

Hoovler also released body-camera video of one of the responding officers who fired at Tyrell Fincher during a scuffle on William Street on March 27.

The video shows the view of an officer arriving to the scene where two officers were scuffling with Fincher, 26, in a doorway.

Moments earlier, acting on information that Fincher may have been involved in a “shots fired” call a day prior, the other two officers had approached Fincher, who then tried to flee, Hoovler said.

In an investigation separate from that of the grand jury, Hoovler concluded that Fincher first tried to shoot at an officer, but his pistol became jammed, and then officers closed in.

Hoovler said three officers ended up firing five shots at Fincher from point blank range, hitting him four times in the torso.

An officer immediately began CPR.

Fincher died a short time later.

Hoovler added that one officer was shot once, likely by another officer, since Fincher’s pistol never fired.

Those findings are different than that preliminary information Hoovler shared the day after the shooting. He held a press conference to address misinformation that was spreading on social media, and has been blamed for three hours of rioting. At that time, Hoovler said Fincher shot an officer, and that officers then fired at Fincher.

Asked by Spectrum News, Hoovler owned the mistake, but stressed that parallel investigations by both the grand jury and his office found that Fincher tried to shoot police even though his pistol did not fire.

“We had that press conference that day because we were trying to calm what was happening in the city of Newburgh, because we didn’t want the destruction of property, peoples’ lives endangered, and more police officers endangered because a false narrative,” Hoovler said of the tension-filled weekend. “When you’re forced to make these decisions that quickly, at that point in time, we didn’t exactly have that correct. We have it correct now, and it’s 100 percent right.”

Hoovler says if Fincher had survived, he probably would have been charged with attempted murder, because he tried to shoot at the officers.