Two Shelton officers commended for role in ending incident with suicidal, armed man

Two Shelton Police Department members have been honored for their role in talking a suicidal man armed with a handgun into giving up his weapon and being taken to a hospital for an evaluation.

Officer John G. Napoleone and Sgt. Peter W. Zaksewicz received a general commendation during the police department’s promotions and recognition ceremony.

The incident occurred last fall on Longview Road, when a report was received of a despondent man with a gun in a back yard.

Longview Road is off Laurel View Drive. It is a dead-end road near lower Long Hill Avenue, and not too far from Long Hill Elementary School.

The incident occurred in the late afternoon of a school day, when some students were still in the school.

Napoleone has been on the Shelton force for 11 years, and Zaksewicz for 30 years. Both are trained negotiators.

Depressed and armed

On Oct. 2, 2014, Shelton police received a 9-1-1 call from a female who said a male was outside in the back yard, and he had threatened to harm himself.

Napoleone arrived at the scene first and began talking to the suspect, who told him he wanted to kill himself due to relationship and employment issues.

Napoleone notified all responding police units to turn off their sirens so the male would not get more nervous and would keep talking.

The suspect was drinking out of a green can and had a cell phone in his hand. He told Napoleone he a gun and he wanted to kill himself, but he didn’t want to hurt anyone else. He also said he was unemployed and that his girlfriend wanted to end their relationship.

Zaksewicz soon arrived and also began talking to the man.

Would point gun at his head

The suspect said throughout the negotiations that he loved his girlfriend, his mother and his four sons. On a number of occasions, he placed the barrel of the gun at his head near the temple area. Each time, after some conversation, he would remove the gun from his head.

After three hours of negotiations, the man put down the gun and turned himself in. He was detained without any problems.
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Click below to read about, and see photos from, the Oct. 2, 2014 incident:
Confiscated was the handgun, a nine-caliber Ruger Model LC9, which had six rounds in the magazine and one additional round that had been removed.

Napoleone and Zaksewicz accompanied the man to the hospital to be evaluated. The man apologized for his actions, explaining he was depressed and unable to see moving on with his life. The male thanked the officers for helping him during the incident.

Honor guard salute

During the March 26 Shelton Police Department promotion and recognition ceremony, city Emergency Management Director Michael Maglione served as master of ceremonies. Mayor Mark Lauretti and Police Chief Joel Hurliman also spoke at the event.

There was an honor guard salute and Francesca Scarpa from Center Stage Theatre sang the National Anthem and "God Bless America."

Three department members were honored for 30 or more years of service (including Zaksewicz), commendations were awarded for extraordinary actions, and eight members were promoted.

Others who were honored

Click below to read about other police department members recognized at the event:

Sgt. Youd:

Det. Nugent and K-9 Jager:

Sgts. Siglinger and Yerzak:

Capts. Kozlowsky and Sequeira:

Det. DeBrum:

Officers Eldridge and Norris:

Chief Hurliman:

Sgt. Zaksewicz:

Click below to read a list of deceased Shelton Police Department members: