Man charged with robbing store with gun in Shelton; Officer injured during pursuit

A Bridgeport man is in police custody this morning after allegedly attempting to rob the Cumberland Farms store in Shelton during the overnight hours.

At about 1:15 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 24, a male wearing a black hoodie and displaying a gun entered Cumberland Farms on Route 110 and demanded money, according to police reports.

At the same time, Shelton police officer Philip Norris was on patrol and conducting a routine check of Cumberland Farms, which is at 819 River Road. Norris was flagged down at the driveway entrance by a few customers who stated that a male with a gun was currently inside committing a robbery.

Police reports said Norris then observed a male exit the store wearing a dark hoodie with something in his hand. The male, later identified as Valentine Rodriguez, 32, of Bridgeport, allegedly ignored commands and fled on foot.

Norris began to pursue the male on foot. Rodriguez then ran into a wooded area and Norris heard a gunshot.

Police surround the area

Officers immediately surrounded the area and began searching for the suspect. Officer David Eldridge was able to locate the suspect, who was hiding in a wooded area.

The suspect continued to ignore commands and would not comply with police. The suspect was eventually handcuffed and placed under arrest.

Rodriguez was charged with:

— first-degree robbery

— theft of a firearm

— criminal possession of a firearm

— unlawful discharge of a firearm

— interfering with an officer

— sixth-degree larceny

He is being held on a $250,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in state Superior Court in Derby on Wednesday.

Rodriguez was additionally charged with second-degree failure to appear in court on an arrest warrant based out of Bridgeport and is also being held on an active arrest warrant from the Fairfield Police Department.

Gun was found during search

Officers and detectives searched the area and were able to locate the gun. It was determined that the gun had been reported stolen.

Norris was treated and released for injuries sustained during the incident. Police said he injured himself while running after Rodriguez.

The store clerk did not report any injuries to police.

The Shelton Police Department received assistance from the State Police, Stratford Police Department and West Haven Police Department during the incident.