'All units: 266 coming home'

Jaime Mahea, second from right, of Voluntown, girlfriend of Norwich police officer Jonathan Ley, sings "Rebel Yell", a karaoke song she and his close friends dedicated to him as friends, co-workers and family members gather at Chacers in downtown Norwich for a fundraiser for Norwich police officer Jonathan Ley Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013.
Jaime Mahea, second from right, of Voluntown, girlfriend of Norwich police officer Jonathan Ley, sings "Rebel Yell", a karaoke song she and his close friends dedicated to him as friends, co-workers and family members gather at Chacers in downtown Norwich for a fundraiser for Norwich police officer Jonathan Ley Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013. Tim Martin/The Day Buy Photo

Norwich — Dozens of police cars and emergency vehicles with bright lights and sirens blaring proceeded down Salem Turnpike late Thursday morning as a motorcade returned Officer Jonathan Ley, who was shot in Monday night's stand-off with a suicidal man, through the city he serves and back to his home.

Ley had been recovering from his injuries at Yale-New Haven Hospital and was released Thursday morning.

Along with Norwich, the vehicles bore the names of police departments in Groton, Waterford, East Lyme, Willimantic and New Britain. As the motorcade entered the city, a message went out on the police radio: "All units: 266 coming home." Police were stationed along Interstate 395 leading into Norwich.

"WISHING NPD OFFICER LEY A SPEEDY RECOVERY," proclaimed a sign outside the East Great Plain Volunteer Fire Company.

Brian Reynolds, a firefighter and EMT with the Franklin fire department, stood by the side of the road near East Great Plain station. He said he heard about the convoy on the scanner and came to support Ley.

"I wanted to be out here and welcome him back," Reynolds said. "Fire, EMS, police, we're all the same family. We're brothers in what we do."

Ley, a 38-year-old Norwich native who was hired by the department in 1998, was shot as police approached Jason Razzino, 30, in his apartment at the Cedar Glen complex Monday. Razzino fired at officers through the door and window of the apartment, hitting Ley multiple times.

The officer, who was at first listed in critical condition, is well respected by his peers. For the past two years, he has worked as a background investigator with the department's recruitment, selections and training division, attending numerous job fairs in the department's ongoing recruitment effort.

Bar owner Geoff Chase scheduled a special "Karaoke for a Cause" for the injured officer Thursday night at Chacer's Bar and Grill. Chase said he and Ley are good friends, and Ley sometimes sings a karaoke version Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell" at the Franklin Street establishment. After hearing news of Leys' injury, Chase organized the event.

Supporters were invited to drop by with notes, gift baskets, gift cards or anything they'd like Chase to deliver to Ley's home. Chase said he didn't know Ley would be released Thursday and originally had planned to have the gifts waiting for him when he got home.

Day staff writer Sasha Goldstein contributed to this report.

k.drelich@theday.com

Norwich police officer Jonathan Ley, center, who was shot multiple times during a Monday standoff at a Norwich apartment complex,  is released Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, from Yale New Haven Hospital. At right is Norwich Sgt. James Veiga.
Norwich police officer Jonathan Ley, center, who was shot multiple times during a Monday standoff at a Norwich apartment complex, is released Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, from Yale New Haven Hospital. At right is Norwich Sgt. James Veiga. John Shishmanian/The Norwich Bulletin
A police convoy escorts Norwich Police Officer Jonathan Ley down West Main Street in Norwich while taking him home after he was released from Yale-New Haven Hospital where he had been treated for his injuries after being shot several times during a standoff Monday.
A police convoy escorts Norwich Police Officer Jonathan Ley down West Main Street in Norwich while taking him home after he was released from Yale-New Haven Hospital where he had been treated for his injuries after being shot several times during a standoff Monday. Dana Jensen/The Day Buy Photo
Norwich police officer Jonathan Ley, far right, who was shot four times during Monday's standoff at Cedar Glen Apartments in Norwich, is applauded Thursday as he is released from Yale New Haven Hospital. Norwich Police Sgt. James Veiga is at far left.
Norwich police officer Jonathan Ley, far right, who was shot four times during Monday's standoff at Cedar Glen Apartments in Norwich, is applauded Thursday as he is released from Yale New Haven Hospital. Norwich Police Sgt. James Veiga is at far left. John Shishmanian, The Norwich Bulletin/AP Photo
Hide Comments

READER COMMENTS

Loading comments...
Hide Comments

THE DAY VIDEO SHORTS