Police identify man who was shot

State police have identified the man fatally shot Friday afternoon on Ridgebury Road as John Valluzzo.

A Ridgefield officer fired his weapon after Mr. Valluzzo refused to drop his gun and pointed it toward the policeman, state police reported Friday.

State police spokesman Lieutenant J. Paul Vance said the Ridgefield officer’s identity has not been revealed yet. He didn’t say how many shots were fired.

Mr. Valluzzo was pronounced dead at Danbury Hospital Friday night.

Police responded to a report of a domestic dispute at about 5:15 p.m. The caller reportedly said there was an armed man who was intoxicated and making threats at the residence.

Mr. Valluzzo, 75, founded the Military Museum of Southern New England in 1995, and served as president. The not-for-profit museum is located on Park Avenue in Danbury.

The museum released the following statement on their website:

“Sorrow fills our hearts at this sad moment. A sorrow that is deep and personal for all of us. 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 Executive Directors of the Military Museum of Southern New England believe it is befitting on this Memorial Day weekend to honor his memory by remaining open to the public during this difficult time. Our deepest sympathies go out to the Valluzzo family. Until we have all had a chance to comprehend fully the impact of this senseless tragedy, we will have no further comment to make on the behalf of the museum.”

Mr. Valluzzo was a veteran of the U.S. Army, serving three years in Korea from 1956 to 1958, according to reports.

He purchased the 423 Ridgebury Road home for $1.9 million in 2009 after living at 884 Smith Ridge Road in New Canaan.

Mr. Valluzzo went through what has been described as a “contentious” divorce with his former wife Cynthia Kasper from 2009 to 2011, according to Brad Stender, the owner of Answers Process Service in Westport, which serves civil process and other legal papers.

Mr. Stender said he had to serve Mr. Valluzzo “about a dozen times” and first met him in 2011, which he recalls vividly.

“The first time I met he was tending to his lawn and I thought he was the lawn keeper,” Mr. Stender said Sunday night. “He was always really nice to me.”

Mr. Stender said the last time he met with the victim was around a year ago. He added the conflict between Mr. Valluzzo and Ms. Kasper involved a money dispute as well as Mr. Valluzzo’s new girlfriend, who Mr. Stender never met.

Mr. Stender said the girlfriend moved into the house on Ridgebury Road with Mr. Valluzzo around two years ago.

Ms. Kasper currently lives in Palm Beach, Fla. She lived with Mr. Valluzzo in New Canaan previously and ran a business there called Interior Accounts.

Neighbors on Ridgebury Road said they didn’t know much about the homeowner and didn’t know who was living on the 3.4 acre property before the shoooting.

“We are so spread out here; we don’t know what goes on in other houses — it’s very difficult to know your neighbor in this topography” said a neighbor who lives a few houses down from Mr. Valluzzo’s home.

“I was home when the incident took place, but I didn’t even hear the gun shots — that gives you an idea of the spacing between the houses. The proximity seems close but in reality it’s not.”

The neighbor added that the response time of the police was great and she felt protected Friday night; however, she was still in shock throughout the night and into the morning.

“It was a big surprise — I still really can’t believe it,” she said. “It gives me a real uneasy feeling.

At the request of the police and the state’s attorney, the shooting is being investigated by the state police Western District Major Crime Squad. An autopsy will be conducted Tuesday by the state medical examiner, Lt. Vance confirmed.

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