90-year-old former lawman shoots robber

January 5, 2012 7:31:18 PM PST
There was a dramatic shootout following a burglary in the North Bay Wednesday when a 90-year-old retired law enforcement officer defended his home against an intruder.

It happened in broad daylight in the 300 block of Via Le Cumbre in Greenbrae. The suspect forced his way into the house and was met by 90-year-old Jay Leone, a retired law enforcement agent who confronted him, shooting him three times. The suspect then shot Leone once.

Police found the suspect wounded inside a black Lexus on Tiburon Blvd less than a mile from the home he tried to burglarize. He had called 9-1-1 saying he accidentally shot himself. Police say the suspect, who has a long criminal history, has been identified as 30-year-old Samuel Cutrufelli of either Novato or Petaluma.

"During this interrupted residential burglary, we believe the resident of the house managed to shoot the suspect who entered the house, multiple times," explained Sgt. Mike Norton of the Twin Cities Police Department. "And then, the suspect actually returned fire shooting the resident one time."

Sara Navon lives in a unit below Leone. She was at home when she heard two big bangs then ran upstairs to see what was going on.

"I looked at the front door, from the inside, and I saw a chair trying to block the entrance," she recalled. "So, I knew that something's wrong here and I need to get out of here."

Both Leone and the suspect were taken to Marin General Hospital and are in stable condition. According to police, they did not know each other and the incident was completely random. Police say Cutrufelli will be charged with burglary and attempted murder.

Many wonder how an elderly man managed to confront a burglar. Less-surprised neighbors told ABC7 Leone is incredibly fit and very agile.