Report: Cop in teen’s death involved in previous fatal shooting
WETHERSFIELD - The officer who shot and killed a local teen Saturday was involved in a previous deadly police shooting, according to the Hartford Courant.
Anthony Jose Vega Cruz, 18, of Wethersfield, died a few days after being shot by police during a traffic stop. State police said Vega Cruz collided with a cruiser and was driving at an officer when the shooting occurred Saturday on the Silas Deane Highway in Wethersfield.
The investigation into the shooting was turned over to Hartford State's Attorney Gail Hardy after Vega Cruz died from his injuries Monday night.
Relying on sources, The Courant identified the officer who shot Vega Cruz as Layau Eulizer Jr., who joined the Wethersfield Police Department late last year.
Wethersfield police have not identified the officer involved in the shooting but said he was put on paid leave.
Eulizer was a member of the Manchester Police Department in 2015 when he was one of two officers involved in the deadly police shooting of Christopher Anderson, 53, a South Windsor robbery suspect, who led police on a high speed chase before crashing at the Bolton and Manchester town line, the Courant said.
Anderson was wielding a box cutter and yelling for police to shoot him, said the New London State's Attorney who investigated the 53-year-old's death. Eulizier fired and missed while the officer struck Anderson during the encounter.
The New London State's Attorney determined that the two officers were justified in their use of deadly force.
Hardy said in a statement that she would release police video of the incident as soon as she “can determine that disclosure will not interfere with the investigation” into Vega Cruz's death.
The Wethersfield shooting was the second police-involved shooting in less than a week.
State Department of Emergency Services Commissioner James Rovella announced during a press conference Tuesday that the Hamden and Yale University officers involved in the New Haven shooting of a woman who was a passenger in the car they were trying to stop didn't turn on their body cameras until after the gunfire had occurred.
Rovella is expected to release more details of that shooting during an afternoon press conference in Middletown.
Protesters in New Haven and Wethersfield are demanding the release of the videos.
The woman was hospitalized but is expected to recover. She and the man who was driving have not been charged with any crimes.