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New information on police shooting revealed

New details about the May 24 shooting on Ridgebury Road, including where the victim was fatally shot and how many shots the officer fired, were revealed yesterday at the state Superior Court in Danbury.

The State Police’s unsealed search warrant application confirms that the victim, John Valluzzo, was shot twice inside his home, reversing  previous reports that Mr. Valluzzo was shot outside in his yard.

In addition, the document states four Ridgefield police officers responded to the scene; just one of them, Officer Jorge Romero, fired two shots from his gun, striking the victim in the torso

Police saw Mr. Valluzzo “walking upright and advancing towards them,” while holding a stainless steel revolver in one of his hands, the affidavit reads.

“Immediately recognizing that Valluzzo was armed with a handgun, Officer Romero ordered Valluzzo at least twice to drop the weapon. Valluzzo failed to drop the weapon and approached to within fifteen feet of the officer.”

The application, filed by state detectives John Kimball and Bill Flynn, says that Mr. Valluzzo did not appear to fire any shots.

The two detectives are requesting a Search and Seizure warrant be issued for the property and its vehicles, including Mr. Valluzzos’s 2010 GMC Terrain, which was parked and left in the middle of the driveway during the incident.

The application’s step-by-step account of the events that led to the shooting reveals Lt. Michael Gates received a phone call at 4:45 p.m. from someone in Boca Raton, Florida.

The caller identified herself as Janine Saviano and reported an active domestic dispute involving her cousin, Anna Parille, and Mr. Valluzzo at 423 Ridgebury Road.

Ms. Parille told Ms. Saviano over the phone that Mr. Valluzzo had been drinking “a large quantity of alcohol” and was armed.

“Parille reported to her cousin that Valluzzo was ‘waving a gun around’ and screaming at her,” the affidavit reads.

The police dispatch contacted Sergeant Craig Wooster and Officer Romero, who were on patrol, to respond to the incident. Officer Mark Caswell was also dispatched to the scene, and Lt. Gates responded after the phone call.

According to the document, Sgt. Wooster and Officer Romero arrived at 5:02 p.m. and alerted Lt. Gates “to stand by on Ridgebury Road until his backup officer arrived.”

Sgt. Wooster and Officer Romero approached the main door of the residence and found that the door was locked.

They proceeded “south to a doorway located in a breezeway adjacent to the driveway,” where they found a door that was already opened. They flanked the door, looked inside and saw Mr. Valluzzo moving toward them with a weapon in his hand.

After the shooting occurred, Sgt. Wooster transmitted on the radio, “Shots fired. Man down.”

Lt. Gates responded on the radio, inquiring who had been shot but received no immediate response.

He arrived on the scene along with Officer Caswell and they saw “Officer Romero visibly upset, pacing in the driveway vestibule area.”

Sgt. Wooster provided medical assistance on the victim before the ambulance arrived on the scene.

Police located Ms. Parille the master bedroom on the first floor of the residence. She had locked the door during her dispute with Mr. Valluzzo.

She testified that she had been on the phone with Ms. Saviano when she entered the home. When she entered the home, Mr. Valluzzo started  yelling at her. She told Ms. Saviano that he had been drinking wine.

Mr. Valluzzo obtained the gun from a pouch located alongside the bed in the master bedroom, the affidavit says. He began waving the weapon around in that room and feigning to call police on his cell phone.

“Valluzzo made comments into the phone such as, ‘There’s an invader in my house,’” the affidavit reads.

Mr. Valluzzo left the room when he heard the police arriving and that’s when Ms. Parille locked herself in the bedroom.

About author
Award-winning journalist for Hersam Acorn Newspapers. Covers beats such as education, police and fire, planning, real estate, and business in the town of Ridgefield. Also covers sports and hosts a radio show, Radio Arts and Leisure, that runs on the company's 18 individual news websites. University of Denver graduate, die-hard Bronco and Yankee fan. Sports lover and compulsive traveler.

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