The Connecticut flag flew at half-staff at the state capitol building on Tuesday in memory of Waterbury acting Deputy Chief Christopher Corbett, who the chief medical examiner's office said died last Thursday morning of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head at his parent's house.
He was laid to rest Tuesday. Hundreds of police officers and firefighters came to pay respects to their fellow officer and friend at his funeral. Bagpipes and drums led the group on a march to and from the church, where his family and friends also said their goodbyes.
“Deputy Chief Corbett loved serving the department and devoted his career to ensuring the security and safety of the people of Waterbury,” Governor Malloy said in a statement. “I join police officers and residents from throughout the State of Connecticut in mourning his loss. We thank him for his service to his community, and we send our thoughts and prayers to his family, friends, and fellow officers in the Waterbury Police Department.”
The 18-year veteran of the Waterbury police force made his way up the ranks to acting deputy police chief by the age of 40.
"He’s just one of the men they respected and that’s why he was elevated to the position he was he was just a wonderful man," Judge Salvator Agati said.
Calling hours were held 4 to 8 p.m. Monday at the Chase Parkway Memorial/The Albini Family Funeral Home at 430 Chase Parkway in Waterbury, according to his obituary. The funeral service will take place on Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception on the Green in Waterbury, followed by a burial laying him to rest at the Mass at New Calvary Cemetery on East Main Street.
Police are convening at the funeral home and others attending are asked to go straight to the Basilica, according to the obituary.
"The Waterbury Police Department has experienced a tremendous loss. We are in shock. The pain and grief that we are experiencing is indescribable. Deputy Chief Chris Corbett was a consummate professional and he will be dearly missed," Chief Vernon L. Riddick, Jr. previously said in a statement.
Corbett, a Waterbury native, joined the police department in 1997, serving first as a patrol officer. He served on the department's accident reconstruction team, according to his obituary. In 2003 he was reassigned to the management team at the department, researching and writing a policy and procedure manual that was 1,000 pages long for the department, his obituary said. He was promoted to sergeant in 2004 and was assigned as the second-in-charge of the criminal investigation bureau and to serve as the department’s public information officer.
He continued to serve in both of those positions when he was promoted to lieutenant in 2006, then to captain in 2010, according to his online biography. He oversaw the criminal investigation detective bureau, which was his favorite role at the department, according to his obituary. In 2013, he was appointed acting deputy police chief, according to his obituary.
Corbett was a graduate of Holy Cross High School and obtained a bachelor’s degree from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts and a master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Boston University.
He was also a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia and served on the Holy Cross High School Board of Directors, the Waterbury Retirement Board and as the treasurer on the Police Activities League Board of Directors.
“My thoughts and prayers go out to the Corbett family at this incredibly difficult time. Deputy Chief Corbett was committed to his family and to the City of Waterbury, working hard every single day to keep families safe. I am heartbroken by his passing,” U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy previously said in a statement.
Corbett leaves behind his parents, Betty and Dave, his wife, Joanne, along with several aunts, uncles, cousins and friends, his obituary states.
In lieu of flowers, people are asked to make donations in his name either to The Police Activities League of Waterbury at 64 Division Street, Waterbury, CT 06704 or to Holy Land USA Waterbury at P.O. Box 828, Waterbury, CT 06720, according to his obituary.
State police called Corbett's death "untimely." Waterbury police and State Police Major Crimes are investigating.