An attorney for a Connecticut man who fatally shot his 15-year-old son, thinking he was an intruder, said Thursday that state police want access to a computer and phone used by the teen to try to determine why he was out at night wearing a ski mask and armed with a knife.
Gene Zingaro said his client Jeffrey Giuliano is cooperating with the request because he and his wife want the same answers.
Police say Giuliano went outside with a gun around 1 a.m. on Sept. 27 when his sister called to say someone was trying to break into her house next door in New Fairfield. Authorities say Giuliano saw a masked person holding a shiny object come toward him in a threatening manner and shot him.
He later was told the person he killed was his son Tyler. Police said the weapon was a knife.
Police are investigating the shooting and declined to comment on details. No charges have been filed.
State police made the request Wednesday and plan to view the family computer, probably next week, Zingaro said. He said they want to see any emails, posts to social media and visits to websites made by the boy.
“In my opinion, the focus of the investigation has shifted from what happened on the night of the shooting to why Tyler was where he was and what he was doing, what his intentions were,” Zingaro said.
He said he believes his client fired at least four shots but is not sure how many hit the boy. Police have said Tyler died of multiple gunshot wounds.
At the time, Giuliano thought the masked person had a gun, Zingaro said.
“My client felt like his life was in imminent danger at the time he fired,” he said. “In my opinion, Jeff Giuliano had a fear of being shot at the time he fired his weapon.”
Zingaro said he does not expect any charges to be filed against Giuliano. Police spent about six hours interviewing him Friday in his attorney’s office and have not asked to re-interview him, Zingaro said.
The attorney said Giuliano was aware at the time that there had been reports of a break-in and a sexual assault in the same town. He said that had even prompted Giuliano to call a family meeting to make sure his children took precautions.
“Weighing heavily on his mind was the fact that there was a forced entry rape a day or two before in New Fairfield,” Zingaro said. “In my estimation, Jeff Giuliano felt like he had happened upon maybe the same intruder.”
Giuliano also was concerned the person might have already been to his house, Zingaro said.
Zingaro said Giuliano had shouted several commands before the shooting, but he would not disclose what his client said. Asked if Tyler responded, he said, “not audibly.”