WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) – Police are searching for whoever shot an undercover Naugatuck police officer during a surveillance operation in Waterbury. It happened on Wednesday night near the on-ramp from Chase Parkway to I-84 Eastbound.
“The undercover police car was struck, and the driver of that police cruiser was also struck,” said Chief Fernando Spagnolo, of the Waterbury Police Department.
The officer was grazed by a bullet and has been released from the hospital. He’s part of a multi-agency task force dedicated to combatting violent crime.
“This is a very, very active investigation and currently ongoing,” said Spagnolo.
This incident closely follows other acts of violence against police. A few weeks ago, a Waterbury Police cruiser was hit, and the suspect led police on a pursuit through city streets. In Bristol, two police officers were killed, and one was injured while responding to a call last month. In New Haven, a police officer was shot at the scene of a car crash.
“We were the lucky ones,” said Kris O’Donnell, whose husband was injured in the line of duty. “He made a 100% recovery. He’s back at work.”
Kris O’Donnell knows firsthand the impact this has on a family and department. Her husband, James, is a Farmington police officer. He was severely injured by a fleeing suspect in a stolen car.
“Every time we think things are getting better, there is an attack on an officer that is unprovoked and that has created a severe amount of PTSD for both of us,” said O’Donnell.
She’s hoping to put resources in place so that when incidents like this happen, they have a team ready to respond.
“It’s frightening to be perfectly frank with you,” said Chief Neil Dryfe, of the Cheshire Police Department.
Cheshire Police Chief Neil Dryfe, who’s the president of the Connecticut Police Chiefs’ Association, said there have been ongoing conversations within police departments about officer safety.
“Reinforcing everyone be very careful out there, to back everyone up, to maybe take that extra minute if you have a concern about a situation,” explained Dryfe.
In a statement released by Naugatuck police, they said: “It is situations like these that remind us all of the dangers our joys may entail as we put on our uniforms each day.”
The investigation into the incident in Waterbury remains active and ongoing.