NEW HAVEN — A 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, the father’s attorney said Monday.
Jeffrey Giuliano went outside with a gun about 1 a.m. Thursday after his sister called to say that someone was trying to break into her house next door in New Fairfield, a town of nearly 14,000 people about 50 miles 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 that the person he killed was his son Tyler.
Giuliano, a fifth-grade teacher at a nearby school, and his wife ‘‘are not well,’’ said his attorney, Gene Zingaro.
‘‘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 do not know what Tyler, who did not have any trouble with the law, was doing, Zingaro said.
‘‘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.
Giuliano and his wife cooperated 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 was in disbelief and a state of shock,’’ Zingaro said.
Shortly after the shooting Giuliano, feared it was his son he had shot, but he did not receive confirmation for at least several hours, Zingaro said. The fears, Zingaro said, were based on the fact that Giuliano learned that 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.