The family and community of New Fairfield continue to mourn and ask questions about what a 15-year-old boy was doing last week when he was standing in his aunt's house with a mask and knife before his father fatally shot and killed thinking that he was a burglar.
State police said a woman called her brother, who lives next door, and told him that she believed someone was trying to break into her home. Jeffrey Giuliano, who is a popular fifth-grade teacher, then left his home armed with a handgun and confronted someone wearing a black ski mask and dressed in all black.
State police said Giuliano threatened his father with a knife, and that's when he opened fire, killing his son.
"He was like a book worm, no one ever expected that," said student Rachel Cascio. "It's beyond believable."
When state police arrived at the home, Jeffrey was sitting in the front lawn and his son, Tyler, still wearing the ski mask, was dead in the driveway. When police peeled back the ski mask, Jeffrey saw he shot and killed his own adopted son.
On Sunday night, at least 900 people packed into St. Edward's Church for a memorial service for Tyler Giuliano. Attendants said Jeffrey Giuliano was visibly upset during the service.
"Why it happened, why he left his house in the middle of the night," Cascio said. "And everyone's feeling sad."
Gene Zingaro, attorney for Jeffrey Giuliano, told Eyewitness News Monday the family is "broken in half" by the tragedy. He says he doesn't expect Giuliano to face any criminal charges.
"So many people have rallied behind this family in a way that touches our hearts and gives us strength," said the family in a written statement. "Thank you from the depths of our hearts."
Jeffrey Giuliano had Tyler in his fifth-grade class and after learning his grandmother was too ill to care for him, he adopted the child.
"His biological family had some issues, the grandmother was raising both Tyler and sister," said New Fairfield First Selectman John Hodge. "Tyler was in Mr. G's class at some point Mr. G and his family wanted to adopt Tyler and his sister."
State police said they were investigating whether or not the gun Jeffery was carrying was registered properly. The investigation is expected to last at least a week.
"And hopefully that will be able to answer some questions because when you take a look at it quickly, some of the parts don't add up," Hodge said.
Superintendent of Schools Alicia Roy said the goal is to help the students move on. The school is working with students and parents as questions about what happened continue to surface.
A private burial for Tyler Giuliano was held Monday morning.
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