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Police: Officers Responded Within 1 Minute Of Slain Officerâ€™s Last Call
NORWALK, Conn. -- Norwalk police have identified the 38-year-old officer who was shot and killed early Friday morning in the line of duty.
Matt Morelli, an 11-year veteran of the force, was killed after an altercation outside of a housing complex.
Sources told NBC 30 that there was some type of altercation outside a housing complex called Lubrano Place, leading to an exchange of gunfire between police and the shooter.
Officials said in a press conference that Morelli called in and indicated that he was stepping out of his vehicle. Backup officers responded within one minute and found Morelli dead, officials said.
Police blocked off several streets and were using dogs to search the area. Helicopters from the NYPD and the Westchester County Police Department assisted with the search of the area.
The flag at police headquarters was lowered to half-staff. Morelli was a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps.
Officials said four Norwalk officers have been killed in the line of duty with the last one being in March 1982.
A tip line was created, and anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to call 203-854-3111.
Norwalk officer killed; Search for gunman continues
Norwalk (WTNH) _ Norwalk police are investigating the shooting death of a 11-year veteran, the first in the 26 years.
Officer Matthew Morelli, 38, was investigating 'suspicious activity' around 12:30 a.m. in a rear parking lot off Lubrano Place, police say.
"He was patrolling the area, and in fact noticed suspicious activity, and stepped out to investigate what was happening," said Lt. Paul Resnick, who had a black ribbon over his badge.
Shots were fired as Morelli stepped out of his police cruiser. He was working alone and died at the scene. No arrests have been made.
"The death is the first fatality in the line of duty in the Norwalk police department in 26 years, and the fifth in the department's 94-year history," Resnick said.
The last officer killed was Officer Marco Carias on March 20, 1982.
Mayor Richard Moccia calls this, "My toughest days as mayor of this city. This type of loss is never easy to fathom."
The state police Major Crimes Squad is on the scene, which is a few blocks away from Norwalk police headquarters. Police from surrounding communities including New York have been called in to help in the investigation and to cover regular patrol areas.
Several weapons, including the officer's gun, were recovered from the parking lot.
"We don't know whether he's still armed at this point," Lt. Resnick said of the suspect. "I don't think the public is at tremendous risk."
Morelli was a former Marine who served four years until he was honorably discharged in 1996. He was hired that same year by the Norwalk Police Department.
In a press conference this afternoon Lt. Resnick said, "He was a good man, he had a lot of friends here and we'll miss him deeply."
A hotline has been set up to help police solve this crime. If you have any information, you're asked to call 203-854-3111.
Please keep Officer Morelli and his family in your prayers today.