Ridgefield police: No update on Hulda Lane shooting; investigation timeline unknown
A month has passed since a 15-year-old Waterbury girl was shot in the back while attempting to steal a car from the driveway of 28 Hulda Lane, and Ridgefield police continue to be silent on whether or not anybody will be charged from the incident.
“It’s just like with any case under investigation,” Capt. Jeff Kreitz told The Press Wednesday, July 5. “We don’t want to compromise the investigation.”
Kreitz said that a state investigation into the shooting — and the group of teenagers who came down to the Ridgefield area to steal cars in the morning of June 5 — was not causing the hold up.
He added that he did know when the case would be closed and more information released to the public.
On June 21, an unsealed affidavit at Danbury Superior Court revealed that Ridgefield police had filed for a warrant to search for evidence relating to possible charges of first-degree assault, reckless endangerment, risk of injury to a minor, and unlawful discharge of a firearm.
What a search of the property and vehicles revealed was large quantities of marijuana, steroids, pills, more than $26,000 in cash, and a collection of weapons, according to an unsealed affidavit of the warrant.
No charges have been filed against the homeowner, Mauro Tropeano.
Cash, pot and steroids
The affidavit states that police found the cash in a five-gallon water bottle and the pot wrapped in “vacuum packaged bags.”
Officers also found injectable steroids and 219 “unmarked yellow tablets” and other pills.
Police said that Tropeano had a permit to carry three handguns, including a Luger .40-caliber handgun. They also found several spent shell casings from that type of gun.
Tropeano, the owner of Stanziato’s Wood Fired Pizza in Danbury, called the police early in the morning of June 5 about a group trying to steal his Land Rover, the affidavit said.
According to the affidavit, neighbors on Hulda Lane also called police in the early morning hours. One reported hearing three gunshots while another reported hearing five shots.
Tropeano told police that he saw two people crossing the front yard toward his house. When he ran outside, he saw his car being backed into a lamppost before hitting a tree, court documents state.
Tropeano did not mention guns or gunshots to police. He said that two people jumped out of the car and got into a Honda CRV that was waiting nearby, according to the affidavit.
He provided them with video from a camera mounted outside his home, but the footage did not include any shots being fired.
A 15-year-old girl was shot in the back during the incident, police reported June 5, but survived.
“Tropeano … forgot he had cameras on the outside of his residence and had transferred some of the video footage to his cellular phone for police to view,” the affidavit said.
“The video quality on Tropeano’s cellular phone was not good enough quality to determine whether or not Tropeano’s hands were empty at the time he exited his home.”
A female friend of the 15-year-old girl who was shot initially told Waterbury police that her friend was shot on the street in Waterbury. But the witness later told Ridgefield Detective Jorge Romero that the two of them — along with two other males — “drove to the Wilton areas to steal and break into cars,” the affidavit said.
The affidavit said the friend testified that the group was trying to steal a car when she heard gunfire.
Doctors were unable to remove the bullet because it was lodged so close to her spine, according to the affidavit.