A man who exchanged gunfire with an intruder during a break-in at his Greenbrae home earlier today was identified by police and a neighbor this afternoon as a 92-year-old World War II veteran.
Twin Cities police said the suspect, Samuel Joseph Cutrufelli, 30, who has addresses in Novato and Petaluma, broke into a home in the 300 block of Via La Cumbre around 10:45 a.m.
He detained the resident, identified by police as Jay Leone, with a firearm and began to search the house for valuables, but the resident armed himself with another gun, police Sgt. Michael Norton said. During a gunfire exchange, the resident shot Cutrufelli three times and Cutrufelli shot the victim once in the face, Norton said.
Cutrufelli then fled in a vehicle. A short time later, Cutrufelli called San Rafael police saying that he had shot himself, and was in the area of Tiburon Boulevard and Altena Street in San Rafael, about a mile from where the shooting occurred, Norton said. He said he needed medical attention. It was soon determined that it was Cutrufelli who had broken into the Greenbrae home, Norton said.
Twin Cities police learned about the crime when a woman who lives downstairs at the Via La Cumbre residence called to report hearing unusual sounds coming from her neighbor's unit upstairs, Norton said. A few minutes later, Leone called Twin Cities police to report that he had been shot in the head.
Both Cutrufelli and the injured resident were taken to Martin General Hospital and are in stable condition, Norton said. Cutrufelli was arrested on suspicion of burglary and attempted murder.
Gary Charlstrom, who lives across the street from where the shooting happened, said Leone fought in WWII. "He's a class act, a very refined guy -- an absolute gentleman," Charlstrom said.