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Wilton / Milford

Home, DPW  hit by gunfire

Police: Incidents were likely random

Police in Wilton and Milford are investigating what they are calling a random shooting incident after a home on Whiting Hill Road in Milford and the nearby Wilton DPW building were both hit by gunfire late Saturday night.

Capt. Christopher Nervik of the Milford Police Department said Wilton Police were the first to respond after a 911 call came in from the Whiting Hill Road home at about 11:25 p.m. on Saturday.

“There were people at home at the time,” Nervik said on Wednesday. “They were not injured. They said they had heard a crashing noise, then realized their house had been hit.”

Judi Farr, who lives in Milford house with her husband, Robert, said the couple had just gone to bed in their room at the back of the house when she heard the crashing noise.

“We have a dog and we’re were dog sitting for my son. I thought it sounded like one of the dog gates falling over,” Farr said by phone Wednesday afternoon. “I started down the hall and light was reflecting off all these little pieces of glass in the hall. I could hear the safety glass in the side light by the front door crinkling, like when a windshield cracks. I looked in that direction and realized there was a hole. I called my husband and said, ‘I think someone shot a bullet into our house.’”

Farr said three bullets penetrated the building.

“What’s most unnerving is that one went into the bedroom where my grandchildren sleep when they come to visit,” she said. “And if we hadn’t gone to bed 15 minutes earlier, we’d have been showered with glass.”

Farr said she and her husband are in the process of getting insurance estimates on the cost of repairs.

“It’s going to be in the thousands,” she said. “We’re not sure yet if they’ll have to replace the whole door.”

After Wilton police determined that the Farrs’ house is in Milford, they turned over the investigation to Milford police, according to Wilton Police Chief Brent Hautanen. Wilton officers then checked along the Wilton end of the road and soon discovered damage at the DPW building, which is about one-tenth of a mile from the Milford home. Hautanen said a garage door of the building had been hit by bullets and a shot had broken a window. Three town-owned pickup trucks and a sidewalk tractor that were parked outside the building had also been damaged.

“They all had bullet holes and at least one had a broken window,” Hautanen said.

The DPW building was closed for the night and no one was there when the shooting occurred.

“It appears the shootings were random,” Hautanen said. “It appears that they happened at the same time. We’re asking people who may have heard or seen anything in the area to contact police.”

Hautanen said at least six shots hit the DPW building. The rounds retrieved came from a small-caliber firearm, he said, adding that police were not releasing additional information while the incident is being investigated.

He said no estimates are available yet on the cost to repair the damage.

Hautanen said he would not use the term “drive-by shooting” to describe the incident, since that carries connotations of gang activity or specific targets.

“This certainly looks random,” he said. “One was a house, the other a town building.”

The only connection, he said, is that the two buildings are on the same road, not far from each other. Police believe the same person was responsible for both shootings.

Both Hautanen and Nervik said the shooting incident was unusual.

“To my knowledge, nothing like this has happened before,” Hautanen said.

“This is a pretty new thing,” Nervik said. “I can’t say it’s never happened before, but it’s certainly not something we have happen on a regular basis. At this point we don’t have a lot of information. Maybe someone heard something, maybe someone was driving by and might have seen someone. That could give us information we can use to follow up.”

Farr said she and her husband have no idea who might be responsible for the shooting.

“It’s all speculation, but I have a feeling that it’s someone who had a little too much to drink or was on drugs,” Farr said. “We can’t think of any reason why anyone would want to harm two people in their 60s.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Milford Police at 249-0630 or Wilton Police at 654-0952. Both police departments also have tip lines on their websites at www.milfordpd.com and tips@wiltonnhpd.com.

Dave Anderson can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 233 or danderson@ledgertranscript.com. He’s on Twitter at @DaveAndersonMLT.

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