Friday’s shooting on Ridgebury Road in Ridgefield has left community members in shock and wondering what happened to cause police to fire at John Valluzzo. He was a former Redding resident.
“We’ve had situations where police have fired a shot, but we’ve never had an incident where anybody was killed,” Ridgefield First Selectman Rudy Marconi said. “It’s a very sad situation and people in town were really shocked by it — it’s shame that it had to happen.”
Captain Tom Comstock of the Ridgefield Police confirmed that Friday’s shooting was the first of its kind for the police department, but would not give any other details, insisting the investigation is ongoing and in the hands of the state police at the request of Ridgefield Police and the state’s attorney.
An autopsy conducted Tuesday revealed Mr. Valluzzo died of multiple gun shot wounds, according to the Office of the Chief State’s Medical Examiner.
The officer involved in the shooting was identified as Officer Jorge Romero, a seven-year veteran of the department, said the state police in an updated statement released Tuesday afternoon.
“As per department policy, Officer Romero is being assigned to departmental administrative duty pending a review of this incident,” the statement read.
In a previous statement, state police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance said Ridgefield officers received an emergency call shortly after 5 p.m., reporting a domestic incident. Police were reportedly told by the caller that the suspect had a gun and was possibly under the influence of alcohol, but official police sources would not confirm this.
When they arrived at the scene, Mr. Valluzzo was in the yard of his residence and was armed with a handgun.
Lt. Vance said Officer Romero fired his weapon after Mr. Valluzzo refused to drop his gun and had pointed his weapon toward the policeman.
“The male subject refused to comply with the officers’ orders,” the statement read. “He raised the weapon towards the officers and caused a Ridgefield officer to discharge his service weapon, striking the male subject.”
Mr. Valluzzo was transported by ambulance to Danbury Hospital. Shortly after admission, he was pronounced dead.
Officer Romero was not injured, but was taken to Danbury Hospital where he was treated and released.
Police had not released any more details of the confrontation as of press time.
Mr. Valluzzo, 75, founded the Military Museum of Southern New England in 1995, and served as its president. The not-for-profit museum is on Park Avenue in Danbury.
The museum called the shooting a “senseless tragedy” on its website.
“The news of the untimely death of John Valluzzo comes as a great shock to all who knew him. His departure was sudden, unexpected and particularly distressing,” the statement read.
According to an interview he gave with the Ridgefield Historical Society in September 2010, Mr. Valluzzo said he had lived in New Canaan for nine years before moving to Ridgefield. Before that, he lived in Redding for 18 years. He also lived in Newtown for 18 years before moving to Redding.
Mr. Valluzzo was the owner of DCG Precision Grinding in Bethel. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army, serving three years in Korea from 1956 to 1958, according to reports.