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KenpoProfessor
04-06-2008, 3:51 AM
http://www.greenwichtime.com/ci_8745383

Shot cop apparently staged own death By John Nickerson
Staff Writer
Article Launched: 03/30/2008 02:04:21 AM EDT


NORWALK -- Police Officer Matthew Morelli apparently staged his death in a South Norwalk church parking lot a week ago Friday to make it look as if he were the victim of a homicide while on duty, police and state sources said.

Arriving officers found Morelli's body early on March 21 behind a row of trucks in the rear of the parking lot behind the Calvin Reformed Church at the end of Lubrano Place.

Investigators from the state police Western District Major Crime Squad found Morelli's gun on the rear bumper of one of the trucks.

Investigators determined that Morelli, 38, fired two bullets into the parking lot pavement from his Sig Sauer P226 service weapon, said many sources who asked that their names not be used for this article because they are not permitted to speak on the matter.

Morelli, a Norwalk officer for 11 years, apparently then aimed an AK-47 at himself and pulled the trigger, they said.

When backup officers arrived less than a minute after Morelli's last radio transmission, they found him dead behind the trucks.

The shooting prompted a massive manhunt, with police scouring the area aided by helicopter-mounted infrared cameras and search dogs. As many as a dozen police departments came to Norwalk's aid and up to 40 officers participated directly in the death investigation, Lt. Paul Resnick said last week.

Chief Harry Rilling acknowledged Tuesday that an AK-47 was found at the scene, along with Morelli's service weapon.

Rilling has since said he is not ready to comment on the details surrounding Morelli's death.
The AK-47 rifle had a "burst-fire" mechanism, allowing one trigger pull to fire three rounds automatically in quick succession, sources said. The first bullet entered beneath Morelli's chin, and another struck him in the forehead, the sources said.

Investigators believe the recoil of the rifle or the movement of Morelli's head caused either the second bullet or the third to miss completely, the sources said.

At a press briefing last week, Rilling said experts studying the incident determined that Morelli's wounds likely were self-inflicted, but no final determination has been made.

Morelli was a decorated U.S. Marine Corps combat veteran who served in the first Gulf War.

A few police officers who spoke to The Advocate said there is no doubt that the AK-47, which had Arabic writing on it, belonged to Morelli. Some speculate he brought it back from the war.


The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is helping police determine the origin of the rifle, Resnick said.

Morelli had just begun his second shift of the day and was working alone when he called dispatch at 12:26 a.m. March 21 to say he was stepping out of his cruiser to check something suspicious in the parking lot behind the church, police said after the incident.

Seconds later, Morelli yelled an obscenity into the radio, which other officers took to mean that he was in trouble. His radio then went dead.

Two cruisers arrived at the parking lot in less than a minute, finding Morelli hunched over the AK-47, with one hand around the barrel of the rifle.

One resident said that that morning he heard four or five shots shortly after midnight.

The new information about Morelli's death indicates that the officer violated police policy and state statutes by firing his weapon needlessly in the parking lot.

Morelli may have violated state and federal laws for being in possession of the AK-47, if the weapon has been deemed an assault rifle and therefore illegal to possess.

Investigators have not found a suicide note, sources said.

In response to many written questions yesterday about the account of Morelli's death, Rilling responded via e-mail by saying that the police department has released information in an appropriate and timely fashion.

Rilling would not confirm any detail of the account of Morelli's death that police and state officials gave to The Advocate.

"We will release other details if and when they become available," Rilling said. "I am not going to speculate on issues that have not even been discussed at this point. The questions you are asking are very premature as we are still conducting this investigation."

Some officers and other individuals around the city have said that Morelli's motive for trying to make his death look like a homicide could be a way to save face.

Others suggest a federal death benefit for police officers killed in the line of duty could have played a role.

That benefit, the Public Safety Officers' Benefits Program, provides a one-time financial payment of $303,000 to the eligible survivors of public safety officers whose deaths are the direct result of a traumatic injury sustained in the line of duty.

Man, this is weird, he did it at a church, that and an AK with a 3 rd burst. Sad thing this, the guy was a Marine and Iraq veteran, my condolences to his family and friends, I hope he was a good man.

Have a great gun carryin' Kenpo day

Clyde

draconianruler
04-06-2008, 3:54 AM
Sad story. I bet he wanted the insurance money for his family :(

Waingro
04-06-2008, 9:29 AM
Man... sad story.

Maybe his family needed the money. I doubt it was just due to depression or else he would of just went on a vacation and never came back.

The whole story seems fishy to me though, AK-47 close range head shots to make it look like a murder? Why not just shoot your self in the chest then, I bet an AK round would go though the body armor (like in that one LA shoot out), then he could of tossed the gun further away from him and been done with it and died 15 min later due to loss of blood.

Keep in mind he is a cop and he knows who the real bad seeds are, he could of just given one of those guys a gun and told him to shoot him without radioing in. The cop could of given the bad seed instructions on how to get away and even if he was caught, the story would be so unbelievable that he would of been taken away for murder anyway.

It seems like this press release is withholding details from the public.

11Z50
04-06-2008, 9:44 AM
Bizarre......

I guess the Police shrinks missed on this one. At least no innocent bystanders were hurt.

Two Shots
04-06-2008, 9:50 AM
It's a tragic incident, "Morelli was a decorated U.S. Marine Corps combat veteran" R.I.P

tyrist
04-06-2008, 9:54 AM
For some reason there have been alot of suicides recently I don't know why.

bridgeport
04-06-2008, 10:06 AM
Good men do not stage their deaths in a dishorable way. Remember Anthony
Bourda... the Admiral of the Navy... when it was disputed whether he deserved to wear a certain ribbon he shot himself through the heart with a pistol in the privacy of his own quarters. Very sad.

savageevo
04-06-2008, 11:31 AM
Thats sad to hear that happen. Its a shame he didn't try to get help for whatever problem he had. i am sure the gun grabbers are going to have a field day now because an (AK) was used. remember the (AK) is the most evil rifle in the world. Its funny when the media reports a shooting on say using handguns, they never say, "shooting was caused by a German made glock 19 gen 1 with stainless steel barrel, yeda, yeda, yeda.)

yellowfin
04-06-2008, 5:08 PM
Making the gun part of the story is the problem. The guy is dead-- it could have been a knife, could have been pills, could have been a train. The method is completely irrelevent. We should not at all feed the argument that it is relevent at all.

USN CHIEF
04-06-2008, 5:24 PM
Very Sad.. No matter how many shrinks are involved, when someone decides to take their own life, they will do it... Suicide is stupid in my honest opinion, no matter how you do it...

ViPER395
04-06-2008, 5:57 PM
I'm going with suicidal, yet wanting to make sure his family was taken car of by the insurance company.

bohoki
04-06-2008, 7:41 PM
sounds like someone may have done the perfect murder

G17GUY
04-06-2008, 8:55 PM
Sad R.I.P :(

dwtt
04-06-2008, 8:57 PM
Bizarre......

I guess the Police shrinks missed on this one. At least no innocent bystanders were hurt.
don't local PD have psychological exams for new recruits? Would it be able to weed out someone who's suicidal?

G17GUY
04-06-2008, 9:05 PM
don't local PD have psychological exams for new recruits? Would it be able to weed out someone who's suicidal?


Yes

How? They try to, but no way in knowing what is going to be the straw that breaks the camels back; Let allow figure out 'for sure' who has suicidal thoughts or tendencies to begin with.

tyrist
04-06-2008, 10:45 PM
don't local PD have psychological exams for new recruits? Would it be able to weed out someone who's suicidal?

Yes an exam with a few thousand questions and then a follow-up with a psychologist. However somebody who is not suicidal can develope those thoughts when under diress for any number of things. Also by being killed on duty he gains certain benefits that would otherwise not be available.

RRangel
04-06-2008, 11:21 PM
There is no magic in law enforcement or its hiring practices as some seem to think. This police officer was only human, and like everyone else not infallible. It is very sad that it had to come to suicide. I wish he could have gotten help.

FastFinger
04-06-2008, 11:33 PM
"The new information about Morelli's death indicates that the officer violated police policy and state statutes by firing his weapon needlessly in the parking lot.

Morelli may have violated state and federal laws for being in possession of the AK-47, if the weapon has been deemed an assault rifle and therefore illegal to possess."

As if he doesn't have enough trouble.

s2000news
04-06-2008, 11:58 PM
11 years on... sad to hear.

KenpoProfessor
04-07-2008, 3:43 AM
Yes an exam with a few thousand questions and then a follow-up with a psychologist. However somebody who is not suicidal can develope those thoughts when under diress for any number of things. Also by being killed on duty he gains certain benefits that would otherwise not be available.

While this is a tragedy, and I feel for his family, this is the type of incident that puts the anti-gunner's message in the dumpster. Most feel it's LEOs and the military that should be the only ones with guns. This is a perfect example of why they aren't any safer or lawful (the FA AK) with guns than the average citizen, and suicide with a gun happens in the best of professions. This incident could've been another mall shooting had he gone the other way with it.

Have a great gun carryin' Kenpo day

Clyde

Clodbuster
04-07-2008, 12:55 PM
I never knew AKs had 3rd burst capabilities.

Clod

ViPER395
04-07-2008, 12:55 PM
This incident could've been another mall shooting had he gone the other way with it.

Like a road rage incident?

Army
04-08-2008, 11:57 AM
An Iraqi AK will have no need for an external burst device. Something about the reporting leaves a question mark hovering.

tyrist
04-08-2008, 8:16 PM
While this is a tragedy, and I feel for his family, this is the type of incident that puts the anti-gunner's message in the dumpster. Most feel it's LEOs and the military that should be the only ones with guns. This is a perfect example of why they aren't any safer or lawful (the FA AK) with guns than the average citizen, and suicide with a gun happens in the best of professions. This incident could've been another mall shooting had he gone the other way with it.

Have a great gun carryin' Kenpo day

Clyde


I don't feel this is exactly correct. I think the anti gunners would like to remove firearms from everyone. They just realize when they reach a certain point it just is not practical to ban anymore. We NEED soldiers and police and unfortunately due to the nature of their jobs they need to be armed with something at some point.

If they could get everyone to play along nicely they probably would remove firearms from every living human on the planet. Atleast thats probably their fantasy.

ViPER395
04-08-2008, 9:55 PM
If they could get everyone to play along nicely they probably would remove firearms from every living human on the planet. Atleast thats probably their fantasy.

No. You got it backwards. They think that if they removed firearms from every living human on the planet, then everyone would play along nicely.

It's not the people, afterall, it's the firearms.

Because no one hurt, robbed, raped, or killed anyone before the invention of the moderm centerfire firearm. :confused:

Linh
04-11-2008, 7:34 PM
don't local PD have psychological exams for new recruits? Would it be able to weed out someone who's suicidal?

Don't mean to be disrespectful or anything but if you read the story it said

Morelli, a Norwalk officer for 11 years, apparently then aimed an AK-47 at himself and pulled the trigger, they said.


So he's not new. No shrink in the world can predict the future. Military people have the highest rate of suicide.