A former state police dispatcher died of gunshot wounds and police believe his brother shot and killed him in a North Canaan home on Saturday night and also shot a cousin.
Brian Johnson, 55, of North Canaan, a former state police dispatcher for Troop B barracks in North Canaan, was pronounced dead at his home in the incident. The state medical examiner's office said tuesday that Johnson died of gunshot wounds to the torso and extremities, determining that his death was a homicide.
Connecticut State Police Trooper Tyler Warden said police responded to Johnson's home on Mountain View Lane around 5:38 p.m. Saturday after receiving several 911 calls reporting a shooting. When they arrived they found three people suffering from gunshot wounds.
Weerden said his death Brian Johnson is a loss to the state police family. His last assignment was at Troop B in town and he retired to take care of his elderly parents. He is survived by his father.
“Brian Johnson served his life dedicated to the citizens of Connecticut as State Police dispatcher.
His last assignment was actually at Troop B in North Canaan," Weerden said. "When I spoke to the troopers from the troop they described him as someone who is very professional, good at their job. He was a calm voice on the radio even under the most stressful situations. So, that’s a loss for our family.”
Brian Johnson was hired as a dispatcher for Troop B on May 23, 1986 and worked there for 27 years through July 1, 2013 before retiring.
Police said there will be counseling available for state police employees.
Police identified Brian's brother, Bruce Johnson, 51, of Sheffield, Massachusetts, as the suspected shooter, and said LifeStar transported him to Hartford Hospital, where he was listed in critical condition as of Monday at 9:30 a.m.
The third victim was identified as Anthony Carrubba, 54 and said he is Brian Johnson's cousin and lives at the same address as Bruce Johnson.
Carrubba was transported to Sharon Hospital to be treated for life-threatening injuries and he is listed in critical condition, as of Monday morning.
The incident appears to have stemmed from a fight between the two brothers that started in Ashley, Massachusetts, state police said.
Sheffield police rushed to a home on Davis Lane in Ashley Falls after receiving reports of gunshots going off during an argument, state police said. When police got there, the people involved had left.
As crews from the North Canaan, Norfolk, Northern Dutchess and Falls Village departments responded to assist with the investigation at Johnson's home on Mountain View Lane in North Canaan, Sheffield police also responded to see if the incidents were connected because they had preliminary information that their suspect’s car might be connected to a shooting in Canaan.
It appears all three men were shot in North Canaan, state police said, but the investigation continues.
The shooting is an unusual occurrence for the small, quiet, Northwestern Connecticut town, according to area residents.
“I was pretty well shocked because this is a small community, and really we don’t have that much problems up here," Paul Sterpka, of Falls Village, said.
Western District Major Crime Squad detectives are investigating. Mountain View Lane was closed overnight as detectives investigated, but it has since reopened. Police say there is no danger to the public at this time and it seemed to be a contained incident.
Police suspect there was one shooter, but have not said whether Bruce Johnson's gunshot was self-inflicted. No charges have been filed.
Sheffield police are working with Connecticut and Massachusetts state police to investigate the fatal shooting incident. They ask anyone with information to call them at 413-229-8522.