News24

US man who shot masked son 'devastated'

2012-10-02 13:01

New Haven — A popular teacher who fatally shot a knife-wielding prowler in a ski mask and then learned it was his 15-year-old son is devastated and filled with questions about what the boy was doing, his attorney said on Monday.

Jeffrey Giuliano went outside with a gun at around 01:00 on Thursday when his sister called to say someone was trying to break into her house next door in New Fairfield, a town of nearly 14 000 people about 80km from New York city.

Giuliano saw a masked person holding a weapon come toward him in a threatening manner and shot him, state police said. He learned later the person he killed was his son Tyler Giuliano.

Jeffrey Giuliano, a fifth-grade teacher at a nearby school, and his wife "are not well", his attorney Gene Zingaro said.

"Their family is hurting," Zingaro said. "They've been broken in half by this unspeakable tragedy, which really is three tragedies all in one."

Giuliano and his wife don't know what Tyler, who didn't have any trouble with the law, was doing, Zingaro said.

Immediate co-operation

"The family has literally hundreds of questions as to what Tyler was doing, why he was wearing what he was and why he was carrying what he was," Zingaro said. "Those questions will probably go unanswered forever."

Giuliano and his wife co-operated immediately with authorities, allowing them to search their home without a warrant and giving a sworn statement, Zingaro said. He called it a justifiable shooting and said Giuliano had a permit to carry the gun.

"In my opinion, Mr Giuliano will not be charged with any type of offense, weapon or otherwise," Zingaro said.

Zingaro said when he arrived at the scene shortly after the shooting, Giuliano was inconsolable and physically ill. He said Giuliano cried and vomited.

"He was in disbelief and a state of shock," Zingaro said.

Back injury

Shortly after the shooting Giuliano, feared it was his son he had shot, but he didn't receive confirmation for at least several hours, Zingaro said.

The fears, Zingaro said, were based on the fact that Giuliano learned his son was missing and other reasons the attorney would not discuss, citing the ongoing investigation.

Giuliano sustained a back injury during the shooting, Zingaro said, but he would not say if that was because of physical contact with Tyler.

State police say they are continuing to investigate the shooting. No charges have been filed.

Giuliano and his wife adopted Tyler and his sister about four years ago. The children's biological father was heading to prison, and the children would have gone into an orphanage if the couple, who had three other children, had not adopted them, Zingaro said.

Immeasurable loss

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 attended a memorial service for his son on Sunday night. He was "in a state of extreme anguish" and was "utterly devastated", Zingaro said.

"It's a loss that cannot be measured," he said.

New Fairfield First Selectman John Hodge provided a statement that was read on behalf of the Giuliano family at the memorial service, thanking the community for its support.

"So many people have rallied behind this family in a way that touches our hearts and gives us strength," the statement said.

Comments
  • Eterni80 - 2012-10-02 14:46

    Sad beyond words.

  • delish7564 - 2012-10-02 15:28

    How terribly tragic on so many levels!! I can't even begin to imagine how this family must be feeling, never mind how they will recover, if they can. My heart goes out to them and I hope that some day, with the help of their caring community, they will find some kind of peace and forgive themselves for this horrible tragedy. I don't know what else the father could have done or anybody else for that matter.....if your sister reported this, survival instinct would take over to protect not only her but yourself and family, not for one moment thinking the potential attacker was someone close to you. The really sad part is that their questions will go unanswered for the rest of their lives and I don't know how you would get over that. Thoughts are with you x

  • gail.hayesbean - 2012-10-02 16:08

    Sad as this is, I am always puzzled when civilians shoot to kill people rather than just to disable them when they are armed with a gun or a stick or normally non-lethal object. Surely if you own a gun you have to learn how to shoot it and when to use it in selfdefense. This report says the father had an injury in his back, so it is possible that the son attempted to stab the father from behind and the father responded by shooting to kill. Why did he have a knife and wear a mask? Drugs, a silly schoolboy prank perhaps or maybe his biological parentage overrode his care in the hands of his adoptive parents. Maybe he intended to use the knife to lever open a window in the sister's house because he was planning to rob or scare her. Questions that can never be answered because the adoptive father shot to kill.

      leroy.reynolds.353 - 2012-10-02 16:27

      in a life threating situation, one will always shoot and ask questions later, i dont think he did anything wrong! He was protecting hes family, or so he thought. anyways, learning how to use a weapon and then knowing how to use it in a exterme situation is two totally different things. you dont think clearly, your adrenaline is pumping, hands are shackey...just to mention a few real life issues. This is not a movie, you only have one life, you do what you think is best "protecting yourself". Also one more thing, any object no matter the size or nature can be leathal in the right hands.

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