A Waterbury police officer is recovering after getting shot by another officer while responding to a stolen vehicle investigation Tuesday, according to police.
Waterbury officers were taking a suspect in a stolen vehicle investigation into custody when they noticed two SUVs revving their engines and driving at a high speed towards the officers, police said. The SUVs, which later turned out to be stolen, crashed into several police cars, officers said.
During the incident, Garrett Pagel, a five-year veteran officer assigned to the street crimes unit, fired his weapon and struck another officer, Charles Mauriello, said Waterbury police chief Fernando Spagnolo. Mauriello is a six-year veteran officer assigned to the auto crimes task force, according to the chief.
"The officer was attempting to stop the threat that he was placed in," said Connecticut State Police Sgt. Josef Duva. "The intended target was for him to stop that threat as it was progressing."
Duva said the scene was "very fluid" and the vehicles were driving in a "very aggressive manner towards the officers."
Waterbury police officials said Mauriello was taken to Saint Mary's Hospital and is in stable condition. Police said he has been released and is recovering at home.
Pagel is currently on paid administrative leave, police said.
Mauriello was shot in the chest, but he was wearing a bulletproof vest, which police said saved his life.
Another officer, Mark Sharoh, who was in one of the vehicles that was rammed suffered a concussion and was able to recover at home, police said.
A total of six suspects are in custody, police said, including several who were found in the area of Waterbury-Oxford Airport.
State police said their troopers were called in to assist shortly after 2 p.m. State police will investigate the shooting, while Waterbury police will handle the stolen vehicle investigation.
State's attorney Dawn Gallo, of the Judicial District of Litchfield, said the four Waterbury officers who were at the scene did not have body-worn cameras and their vehicles were not equipped with dash cameras.
Anyone with information is asked to call Waterbury police at 203-574-6941 or leave anonymous tips via Crime Stoppers at 203-755-1234.