A Danbury Police officer who shot and wounded a knife-wielding man last week also shot and killed another man threatening police with a knife last year.
Officer Alex Relyea, was identified Tuesday by Connecticut State Police as the officer who shot Aaron Bouffard, 31, on Wednesday, July 3, as he threatened numerous people with large butcher knives.
Relyea also shot and killed Paul Arbitelle on Dec. 29, 2018, a fter threatening officers and his mother with a knife, police said.
The shooting incident took place around 8:44 a.m., when Danbury Police Department dispatchers received several 911 calls about a disturbance at the McDonough House, which is a treatment facility for substance abuse.
According to state police, Aaron Bouffard, 31, began assaulting individuals at the treatment facility. According to victims, Bouffard behaviors escalated as he began wielding two butcher knives.
Officers were immediately dispatched to the area of Old Ridgebury Road in an attempt to locate Bouffard. Troopers out of Troop A-Southbury were also dispatched to the area to assist Danbury Police Department in locating him as he was roaming the vicinity.
According to officers on the scene, they encountered Bouffard near a recreational soccer field walking towards them with the knives still in hand. Despite all attempts made by officers to verbally deescalate the incident, Bouffard continued to advance towards officers refusing to put down the knives, state police said.
That's when Relyea fired several rounds at Bouffard, striking him in the thigh, pelvis area and finger, state police said.
Medical aid was rendered immediately on scene and Bouffard was transported to Danbury Hospital and later transferred to Yale-New Haven Hospital where he currently remains for further evaluation. He was arrested by state police on Tuesday, July 9 and charged with assault, threatening, breach of peace, and disorderly conduct. He is being held on $110,000 bond.
Relyea and is currently on paid administrative leave.
During the shooting last year, Relyea and another officer, Regina Guss, encountered Arbitelle exiting an apartment armed with a knife, which he "presented toward the responding officers," the state police said.
The officers ordered him to drop his weapon and provided him with multiple commands, which he disregarded and failed to comply with.
In an attempt to mitigate the threat, Officer Guss deployed her Taser toward Arbitielle, which was ineffective, and he continued to walk toward the two officers, state police said last year.
In order to protect himself and Guss, Relyea discharged his service pistol at Arbitelle, striking him three times, state police said.
As a result of this incident, Arbitelle was killed and his mother received an unintentional gunshot wound.
The incident was investigated by state police who turned over their findings to the Stamford State's Attorney on May 10. The findings have not been released.
Relyea has been a police officer with the City of Danbury since 2014. He has received multiple commendations, including a Meritorious Citation in 2015 for arresting three juveniles involved in numerous burglaries, a Letter of Appreciation for going above and beyond with patrol checks at Tarrywile Park due to suspicious activity that resulted in two prostitution arrests, and a Unit Citation in 2017 for his actions resulting in the arrest of a male who had been threatening several people with a loaded firearm.
Charges are still pending against Bouffard.
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