STAMFORD, Connecticut (WABC) -- An overflow crowd of community members and faith leaders attended a police briefing Friday to learn more about the untimely death of a beloved pastor.
Rev. Tommie Jackson, 69, was struck and killed Monday afternoon by a Stamford police car while he was retrieving mail in front of his house.
For now, the only details released are that rookie Officer Zachary Lockwood was responding to a call and driving eastbound on Wire Mill Road.
Lockwood "made an evasive steering maneuver" and hit him, according to the state police.
The officer performed CPR until medics arrived. Jackson was taken to Stamford Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Lockwood was apparently responding to an unrelated car accident when he struck Jackson.
"Preliminary reports indicate that the emergency lights were activated at that time in the police cruiser," said Connecticut State Police Lt. Katherine Cummings.
Jackson's widow spoke exclusively with Eyewitness News and said she didn't hear a siren that could have alerted her husband.
Dorye Jackson, who is a member of Stamford's Board of Police Commissioners, said she would have heard them if there were lights or sirens.
The family's attorney is conducting his own accident review and is raising the possibility that the officer's cellphone use played a role.
"I have a team of investigators out and they're speaking and asking questions to people who are close to the scene and that's what I'm hearing so I think cellphone records will show exactly what happened," said family attorney Darnell Crossland.
In the meantime the community is grieving the loss of not only a religious leader but a fixture in local politics.
"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," said Stamford Mayor Caroline Simmons.
Lockwood was placed on administrative leave.
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