A popular teacher will not face prosecution for fatally shooting a knife-wielding prowler in a ski mask who turned out to be his 15-year-old son, a prosecutor announced Friday.
Jeffrey Giuliano reasonably believed the masked person "presented him with the threat of imminent death or great bodily harm" and that he needed to use deadly force to defend himself, State's Attorney Stephen Sedensky III wrote.
Investigators were unable to determine why the boy, Tyler Giuliano, was outside after midnight wearing a ski mask and carrying a flip-style knife with the blade open and a roll of duct tape under his arm.
Giuliano's attorney, Gene Zingaro, said he did not expect Giuliano to be charged.
Giuliano went outside his New Fairfield home with a gun around 1 a.m. on Sept. 27, 2012, when his sister called to say someone was trying to break into her house next door, Sedensky said. On her front porch, Giuliano saw a person he didn't recognize who was dressed all in black, wearing a ski mask over his face and was manipulating the lock on the front door in an apparent attempt to gain entry, according to the report.
The person jumped off the porch and proceeded down the walkway and became hidden by an sport utility vehicle parked in the driveway, the report said. As Giuliano walked toward the side of the vehicle, the person came across the front of the vehicle, investigators said.
Giuliano yelled "freeze!" and noticed a small, metallic object in the person's hand that he believed was a gun or knife, according to the report. He yelled "drop it!" but the person growled in an aggressive manner and stepped toward Giuliano, who was about 44 feet (13 metres) away, the report said.
Giuliano fired seven times and yelled to his sister to call police.
Tyler suffered three gunshot wounds. Giuliano was told six hours later while being treated for shock in a hospital that the person he shot was his son, Zingaro said.
The report didn't speculate on what Tyler was doing outside his aunt's house dressed in what investigators characterized as clothing consistent with someone about to engage in illegal activity. He is not a suspect in any other crime and had no drugs in his system, the report said.
Giuliano and his wife adopted Tyler and his sister about four years before the shooting. The children would have gone into foster care if the couple, who had three other children, had not adopted them, Zingaro said.
Tyler and his adoptive father shared a love of music and the Civilian Air Patrol, in which Tyler served as a cadet and enjoyed flying gliders and small aircraft, Zingaro said.
Giuliano, affectionately known around Meeting House Hill School as Mr. G, holds summer music and zoology camps for his students and plays guitar in a local rock band that raises money for charity, schools superintendent Alicia Roy said at the time.