A Naugatuck police officer who was shot while conducting an undercover investigation in Waterbury Wednesday night is recovering and police said Friday that they have arrested a suspect in connection with the shooting.
Police had been trying to identify the person or people who opened fire on an undercover police vehicle on Chase Parkway near the entrance ramp to Interstate 84 East just after 10 p.m. as officers were conducting surveillance and looking for a suspect who has a warrant for charges connected to a shooting in Wolcott two weeks ago.
As the officers were conducting surveillance, they noticed someone was doing "countersurveillance" and they left the area, police said Friday.
As they left, a black Audi followed the officers and fired at the undercover vehicle.
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Police have identified a suspect as Jason Perez. He turned himself in to police and has been charged with assault in the first degree, weapons in a motor vehicle and additional charges.
Perez was not the person undercover police were looking for in Waterbury, police said.
According to court documents, Perez spoke with investigators and told them he was driving the car. He gave them information on who fired the gun at the undercover officers.
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Bond for Perez was at $500,000, then raised to $1 million.
A bullet grazed the shoulder and chest area of a Naugatuck police officer who was working with the Connecticut State Police Violent Crimes Task Force, police said.
The injured Naugatuck officer was driving the vehicle and one other police officer from Wolcott was in the car but was not injured, according to police.
Police said the injured officer was taken to Waterbury Hospital to be treated for a minor injury, He has been released and police said that he is recovering well.
Police have not released the officer’s name.
In the last two months, five police officers have been shot in Connecticut, Waterbury Police Chief Fernando Spagnolo said.
“I’ve been a police officer 30 years in the state of Connecticut. This is unheard of to me. I never remember this type of violence occurring against police officers at any time during my career,” he said.
State police and federal authorities have been investigating the shooting in Waterbury.
Waterbury police said Friday that additional arrests are expected.
The Connecticut State Police Violent Crimes Task Force is a collaboration between state police, and police from Waterbury, Shelton, Naugatuck, Wolcott and Watertown.
Perez is due in court in Nov. 30.