Ridgefield officers arrived at Valluzzo’s Ridgebury Road home around 5:20 p.m. on May 24, 2013, responding to reports of a domestic dispute between the 75-year-old veteran and his girlfriend, 43-year-old Anna Messina.
According to reports, when officers arrived the front door was open and two officers — Romero and Sgt. Craig Worster — entered the home. While making their way through the hallway, Valluzzo came into sight holding a 38 Special revolver.
“I then called down the hall, ‘Police, drop the gun,’” Romero said in his official statement. Valluzzo then “began to walk rapidly towards me, charging me. I yelled, ‘Sir drop the gun, Sir drop the gun, drop the gun.’ He was approximately 3-5 feet from me when I fired two rounds from my service weapon.”
Valluzzo was shot twice — in the chest and abdomen — and later died from those wounds at Danbury Hospital.
“Based on the facts determined to exist in this case that Officer Romero was justified… in using deadly physical force upon another person,” State’s Attorney Stephen Sedensky III wrote. “He was justified based upon his reasonable belief that the use of such force was necessary to defend himself and other persons.”
In the State’s Attorney’s summary, Sedensky notes four factors that together justify Romero’s actions:
- He was responding to a call of domestic violence involving a male and a female;
- The male suspect was intoxicated (later testing at .14 BAC);
- The male suspect was armed; and
- The male suspect had been threatening a female in the house with a gun.
This week’s decision clears Romero of any possible criminal charges.
Read the full State’s Attorney report on the Division of Criminal Justice website.