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Officer Cleared in Shooting Death of Ridgefield Man

State investigators determined that the shooting on Ridgebury Road 1 year ago was justified.

Ridgefield Officer Jorge Romero's service weapon. Credit: State's Attorney's Office
Ridgefield Officer Jorge Romero's service weapon. Credit: State's Attorney's Office
The investigation into the shooting death of Ridgefield resident John Valluzzo last year by local officer Jorge Romero determined that the shooting was justified, according to a ruling handed down this week.

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.

emmers27 July 11, 2014 at 09:18 PM
I'm uncomfortable with the timing of all this. We've been waiting and waiting for any information in this report. It finally gets released to the public exactly when people are complaining the police are not giving out enough information on the boy in the car.
rebel patriot July 11, 2014 at 10:07 PM
And another thing. There is no way Valluzzo was carrying an unloaded gun and investigating an intrusion. I'll bet that Romero or Wooster took Valluzzo's gun that was loaded and kept it for themselves, replacing it with another of his guns that was in storage. They do say cops get the best drugs for a reason.
porter gladstone III July 11, 2014 at 11:16 PM
Romero was 3-5 feet when he fired. Thats arms length. It took them 14 months to decide the officer was justified. It appears that Romero wont go to jail. But there is another avenue to seek justice, and taking 14 months Im sure made that avenue a bit more difficult. For people sworn to uphold the law, there is a lot of injustice here. 3-5 feet? And he wasnt pointing the gun at him? I guess a 75 year old drunk guy was too scary for the body builder Romero? That he couoldnt just reach out and grab him. The IRS loses emails. The NSA spys on us. The cops kill us. You think government is too big and too powerful? These guys do whatever they want.
Quinn July 12, 2014 at 12:33 PM
No amount of proof will ever convince the morons and idiots whose bigotry out weights all evidence.

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