Police release name of man involved in Groton standoff

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Groton — The man who was involved in a 17-hour standoff with police and subsequently was found dead at a home at Orion Avenue has been identified as 35-year-old James Bangura, police said.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said Thursday afternoon that Bangura died of a gunshot wound to the torso and ruled his death a suicide.

Bangura's death came amid a standoff with police at a home at 8 Orion Ave. Groton Town police Chief L.J. Fusaro said the standoff began about 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, after the man's wife, a Navy lieutenant assigned to the Naval Ambulatory Care Center, said he fired his handgun.

Police helped the woman and two young children escape the home, Fusaro said. No officers were hurt. Police said Thursday that detectives continue to investigate the possibility that Bangura shot at law enforcement personnel.

About 12:05 p.m. Wednesday, police determined it was safe to enter the Orion Avenue home, where they found Bangura dead.  Police said it was unclear what time he had died.

Three yellow ServiceMaster trucks were parked outside the home on Thursday afternoon, as several men moved boxes out of the house. Multiple windows were broken and boarded up from the inside.

Orion Avenue is part of a complex known for providing Navy housing, though civilians and members of other military branches also live there. Michael Kornacki, a neighbor, told The Day on Wednesday that Bangura was a former U.S. Marine and "a great, great man." The sub base confirmed Thursday that Bangura's wife is a Navy lieutenant and works for the ambulatory care center. The couple's children are not school-aged, officials said.

"He is a great dad. He is a good guy," Kornacki told The Day on Wednesday. "He was playing with his kids nonstop. He loved his wife, loved his kids. Everything. He was just a phenomenal guy. He always shoveled our driveway."

The Naval Branch Health Clinic, which oversees the ambulatory care center, is working with the Fleet and Family Support Center, Navy Marine Corps Relief Society and the Chief Petty Officers Association to help the family find housing and to provide for their needs.

The base has received an influx of requests from Navy families who want to help out.

The base put out a statement Thursday that it "sincerely appreciates  the outpouring of support" for the Bangura family, and other families nearby who temporarily were relocated as a result of the incident.

"The immediate needs of the affected families are being met. The long term needs for the families are currently being assessed by SUBASE Fleet and Family Support Center. While appreciated, specific donations are not needed at this time. However, SUBASE New London always encourages donations be made to the Navy Marine Corps Relief Society at 860-694-3285 to help local military families," the statement reads.

Day Staff Writer Erica Moser contributed to this report.

j.bergman@theday.com

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