Schenectady County

Psych check ordered for man shot by police

The knife-wielding man who rushed at officers and was shot three times in the lobby of The Daily Gaz

The knife-wielding man who rushed at officers and was shot three times in the lobby of The Daily Gazette in a possible suicide-by-cop attempt will undergo psychiatric evaluation, a court ordered Wednesday.

The evaluation is to be done in the coming weeks and will help determine the man’s competency to stand trial.

Elvis Norwood, 21, appeared in City Court on Wednesday afternoon with his attorney Sven Paul. Paul requested the evaluation and City Court Judge Matthew Sypniewski granted it.

Now two psychiatrists will evaluate Norwood and render separate opinions as to whether he can stand trial. Sypniewski would then make the final determination. Any suspect found not competent is generally re-evaluated after a set period of time.

Norwood, 21, of Hattie Street, faces charges of second-degree burglary, attempted aggravated assault on a police officer and menacing a police officer, as well as a misdemeanor weapons possession charge. He is being held on $100,000 bail.

Norwood is accused of illegally remaining inside the newspaper’s locked offices Oct. 8, after being let inside by a security guard on a request for water. Witnesses said Norwood appeared drowsy, medicated and “very vacant-looking” when he arrived.

Only later was it determined that he had a knife. Police then arrived, trying to talk Norwood into dropping the weapon.

Norwood then charged at police and Officer Brett Ferris fired four shots, hitting him three times, in the arm, chest and stomach.

According to police and family, Norwood was at Ellis Hospital twice for suicidal thoughts in the days leading up to the incident. Police took him there on a pickup order on one of those occasions.

Family said he took himself there on the other.

The earlier incident led police to believe Norwood was trying to commit suicide by making officers shoot him.

Norwood spent about five days in the hospital after the shooting, before being released to the jail. He appeared in court, walking on his own. He had bandages on both forearms, about halfway up, but otherwise showed no signs of his injuries.

Police officials have said the shooting appeared within policy and state law.

Ferris and Officer Timothy Rizzo, who arrived at the paper with Ferris, remain off duty, Public Safety Commissioner Wayne Bennett said Wednesday, but they are expected to return soon, once cleared by the department’s Employee Assistance Program.

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