State police have arrested two off-duty Darien police officers after a gun was fired at one of their homes and both have been placed on paid administrative leave.
Darien Police Chief Duane Lovello was notified that a weapon was discharged outside of the home of an off-duty officer in an incident with another off-duty cop that was under investigation early morning on Saturday, Aug. 1, he said in a statement. After consulting with the state's attorney, he turned the investigation over to state police to "maintain the highest level of investigative integrity" and "to avoid any perception of impropriety," Lovello said.
After two months of investigating, state police arrested Darien Police Officers James Martin, 41, of Darien, and Daniel Ehret, 38, of Darien, charging them with second-degree reckless endangerment, second-degree breach of peace and unlawful discharge of a firearm.
"The allegations leading to the arrests are disturbing," Lovello said. "I cannot conceive of anything that would lead police officers to do something so profoundly dangerous and wholly irresponsible. This conduct is intolerable and does not reflect the professional values or the ethical, responsible, and moral conduct we demand of Darien police officers and their duty to the public we serve."
State police found Martin's vehicle parked at his home with multiple bullet marks.
Both officers have been with the Darien Police Department for 10 years and were placed on paid administrative leave the day the event happened, police said. Darien police are also conducting a separate internal investigation. Any disciplinary measures will depend on the outcome of the investigation, police said.
"Public confidence in a law enforcement agency’s professionalism, integrity and professional ability are among the most important assets of a police department," Lovello said. "Throughout its ninety year history, the Darien Police Department has worked hard to earn and maintain that public confidence. We will do what is necessary to ensure that the public remains confident in the Darien Police Department’s ability to effectively deal with this crisis in a manner that reflects the very high standards that we as an organization demand and the public has every right to expect."
It's unclear what led to the gunfire.
Both Martin and Ehret turned themselves into state police at the Troop I barracks in Bethany after a Stamford Superior Court judge signed warrants for their arrests.
The court set both of their bonds at $5,000. Both are scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 19.