Former teacher goes above and beyond to help family of Waterbury teen shot and killed

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WATERBURY — Family and friends of a Waterbury teen murdered last Saturday are planning services to honor him as police continue to search for the man suspected in the crime.

Police were called to Porter Street around 4:20 p.m. Saturday afternoon. That’s where they found Jahliek Dieudonne, 17, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead a few hours later at Waterbury Hospital.

Jahliek's middle school math teacher, who later became his mentor, got a gut-wrenching call from Jahliek's mother telling her he had been shot.

"It was very hard to understand what she was saying, but I just got in the car right away and I ran up to the hospital to be there with the family when they were given the terrible news," said Laurie Scursso, who teaches at West Side Middle School.

Scursso has now set up a GoFundMe page to help Jahliek's family with funeral expenses.

She said, "Jahliek was like family to me. I always told him that whatever he needed I would be there for him."

She's also helping Jahliek's family get a posthumous high school diploma. Scursso said he was on the right track and wanted to graduate and go to college.

"He's the student that makes you go into teaching," said Scursso.

She said, "It's a good feeling to know that I might not have been there that day to save him, but at least I know that we've reached that goal for him that meant so much to him."

Based on tips they received and evidence from the scene, police believe Erick Malone, 21, is responsible for the shooting.

Deputy Chief Fernando Spagnolo said the victim and suspect were known to one another.

"Why they met up at 30 Porter Street on that particular date and time is still under investigation," said Spagnolo.

Malone is a known drug dealer in the city and has a criminal history.

A warrant has been issued for his arrest, charging him with murder, reckless endangerment, carrying a pistol without a permit, illegal discharge of a firearm, and criminal possession of a firearm.

Malone should be considered armed and dangerous, police said.  Anyone having information as to his location is encouraged to call Waterbury Police at (203) 574-6941 or Waterbury Crime stoppers (203) 755-1234.