WEST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)–A touching honor on Wednesday night for a New Haven police officer who was shot and killed while on duty, in a crime that shook the city. Officer Robert Fumiatti was working drug duty when he was shot in the face. He died five years later from complications from his injuries.
Before he was a police officer, he grew up in West Haven, and on Wednesday night, he was honored by the hockey team he loved. The school retired his jersey number for good on the anniversary of his death.
There weren’t too many dry eyes in Bennett Rink following a beautiful pregame tribute to Fummiatti. The West Haven hockey team ran on to the ice, tapping the new blue number 8 on the wall outside of the home team’s locker room. Officer Fumiatti’s widow Stacey and her three children were also honored on the ice prior to the start of tonight’s game against Amity.
A near-capacity crowd at the rink to honor her late husband. No one will ever wear the number 8 again at West Haven, a program with a storied hockey tradition. Fumiatti’s wife says tonight is something that she will not soon forget, and it will help her family in the days and years ahead.
“We feel like it’s a bigger honor than his name being on the wall in Washington D.C., which was a really huge honor. But this is more personal, and like this is our family and our community, this is who supports us, and my son is going to go to school here next year, hopefully he’ll feel like a piece of his dad is with him and always here,” Stacey said. “I think it means a lot more for us that it took 11 years today.”
Fumiatti grew up in West Haven, but also helped coach the Amity hockey team prior to his death. The current head coach of Amity, Scooter Richitelli, was very close to the Fumiatti family. Scooter’s son Peter wore the number 8 last season for West Haven.