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Waterbury murder-suicide puts spotlight on domestic violence

WATERBURY — Domestic violence organizations are weighing in on new information that shows a retired New Haven detective shot and killed his wife at their Waterbury condo before turning the gun on himself.

Safe Haven in Waterbury is just one of the organizations across the state available to discretely provide assistance to domestic violence victims. They assist in everything from emotional support to legal services.

On November 21st, police found husband and wife LaRhonda and Eric Jones dead in their bed at their condo on Perkins Ave in Waterbury.

“I was stunned. I was fully stunned,” said neighbor Milagro Rivera at the time. In the days that followed, FOX61 talked to Jones’ daughter. She described her dad as loving and religious.

Misty Jackson said, “My dad had talked about her and he always had great things to say about her.”

Jones, a retired New Haven detective and school resource officer was remembered fondly by colleagues like Sergeant Ricardo Rodriguez of New Haven Police Department.

“Eric Jones took care of a lot of kids in this city and never asked for anything in return. He had that knack of being able to talk to kids and talk them down and talk to them about real life experiences,” explained Rodriguez.

Which is why new information from the medical examiner that Eric shot LaRhonda three times, before turning the gun on himself, comes as even more of a shock.

”That’s crazy, that’s like scary,” said condo neighbor, Allen Thomas.

Safe Haven in Waterbury says domestic violence victims are often isolated and quiet.

“It just happens to frequently,” said Associate Director Margaret Rosa. “These deaths are often very much preventable.” Safe Haven in Waterbury helps these victims break their silence.

Rosa said, “It takes a community. Police, court, friends, neighbors and say that this is not okay and we are hear for you and support you.”

In 2019, 33,141 adults and 4,632 children received domestic violence services. The statewide hotline received 33,711 calls. The number is (888) 774-2900. You can call or text.

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