On Thursday around 1 a.m., a Connecticut man, who was checking on a possible burglar at a neighboring house, ended up fatally shooting a masked intruder who had apparently lunged at him. The person that Jeffrey Giuliano killed turned out to be his 15-year-old son Tyler. And now police say that Tyler was holding a knife.
Jeffrey Giuliano's sister, who lives next to him on Meetinghouse Hill Circle in New Fairfield, called him, worried someone was trying to break into her home. Giuliano took his gun and went outside, only to find a man wearing a ski mask and in all black. According to the Hartford Courant, "The man was armed with a knife. A confrontation occurred, state police said. The man dressed in black approached Jeffrey Giuliano in a 'threatening manner' and Jeffrey Giuliano feared he was about to be assaulted with the knife, police said. Jeffrey Giuliano then opened fire and struck the assailant multiple times, including in the head."
When police arrived, Giuliano was on his driveway, and the masked intruder—who was still masked—was still holding the knife. It wasn't until later, when the state police notified him, that Giuliano learned he killed his adopted son.
Giuliano, a fifth grade teacher, adopted Tyler when his grandmother became too ill to take care of him. While one woman, Lori DePalma, told the News Times that he was a "loving" child when he was having trouble at home a few years ago, the News Times reports, "his online posts often painted a different picture. His status updates on a social networking platform called Lifestream often took on a more melancholy tone."
Neighbors say that earlier in the week, a burglar broke into a home and assaulted a woman, which could have contributed to Jeffrey Giuliano's concerns. Tyler's biological mother, Tammy Binnette, spoke to the Post. Binnette said she was "struggling her with addiction" (in 1993, she crashed her car after smoking crack and killed her 21-month-old daughter):
“I could have gone out there today and killed myself. I’m hanging on because if I went out and used again, it would be like I was shooting Tyler all over again.”
She said, “I don’t understand Tyler didn’t yell out and say, ‘Dad, it’s me!’ ”
She called Jeffrey and his wife “good people” for adopting her son, whom she hadn’t seen in five years.
“But something has to be done about this,” she said.
“I know he loved my son, but he still killed him. He fired [multiple] shots. He didn’t give him a chance. He needs to go to jail.”
Connecticut State Police spokesman Paul Vance said, "It's going to take several weeks for us to finish. There's no timetable on that. We'll do it as quickly and efficiently as possible."