Prosecutor: Cop justified in museum chief’s death

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. (AP) — A Ridgefield police officer was justified in the fatal shooting last year of a military museum chief, a prosecutor said Wednesday.

Officer Jorge Romero was justified based on a reasonable belief that the use of force was necessary to defend himself and others when he shot 75-year-old John Valluzzo on May 24 at his home, Danbury State’s Attorney Stephen Sedensky III concluded in a report.

The report quotes Romero saying he ordered Valluzzo to repeatedly to drop his gun, but he charged toward him. Romero said he was cornered and fired twice. Valluzzo’s gun was unloaded, but the officer was reasonable to believe the gun was loaded, Sedensky said.

Valluzzo was founder and president of the Military Museum of Southern New England in Danbury.

Police responded to the house after received a call from a relative of Valluzzo’s girlfriend saying he was waving a gun around the house and pointing it at his girlfriend. Romero arrived at the scene believing he was responding to a call of domestic violence, that an armed man was intoxicated and threatening a woman with the gun, the report says.

A state police detective sought to interview Romero and a sergeant, but was told by a police union attorney that they would not talk to state police and that their written statements would be sufficient, Sedensky said. The prosecutor said personal interviews with both officers would have been helpful to the investigation but officers, like anyone else, may decline to be interviewed.

No further action will be taken as a result of the shooting, Sedensky said.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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