Cambridge police officer shoots machete-wielding assailant

On Wednesday, Cambridge police shot a man armed with a machete, who was reportedly seen coming off an apartment window at Chestnut and Waverly streets in Cambridgeport.

The incident occurred around 1:15 p.m. when a resident called the police to report a man “in apparent distress”. The man was seen cutting himself with the machete and broken glass from the shattered apartment window.

The Cambridge PD responded and went to the reported location. Police arrived and then searched the area to find the man. The police found the man hiding behind a building on Sidney Street. The authorities later identified the man as 20-year-old Sayed Faisal.

Faisal attempted to run away carrying his machete. On Chesnut Street, he threatened the officers with his machete. District Attorney Marian Ryan explained that Faisal moved toward officers and pointed his weapon at them.

“He continued to advance to the officers holding the knife at one point across his body, and then holding it raised out in front of him,” Ryan said. “A Cambridge officer discharged his department-issued firearm and struck Mr. Faisal.”

De-escalation failure

An officer fired a lethal shot at Faisal. The officers at the scene then treated Faisal’s wound as before EMS arrived. The ambulence took Faisal to Mass General Hospital, where he died of his injuries.

After Faisal died from his injuries at the hospital, Ryan and Cambridge police commissioner Christine Elow confirmed in a press release that the incident was under investigation.

The police officer who shot the suspect has been placed on administrative leave. Elow said that her officers were trained in de-escalation tactics. However, in this case, they failed to subdue the man, who ran away after he was confronted.

“Our officers tried several times to engage the individual verbally unsuccessfully. This lasted over five blocks from where we first encountered them,” Elow said. “We tried several times to de-escalate the situation.”