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Conservation Officer James V. Spignesi, Jr. | Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, Connecticut Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, Connecticut

Conservation Officer

James V. Spignesi, Jr.

Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, Connecticut

End of Watch: Friday, November 20, 1998

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 45

Tour: 8 years

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Rifle

Offender: Not available

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Conservation Officer James Spignesi was shot and killed while checking private property for suspected illegal deer hunting near Scotland, Connecticut. Officer Spignesi was with another officer when he was struck by a round from a high-powered rifle. His partner arrested the suspected shooter, an off-duty state corrections officer, who claimed the shooting was an accident. The suspect was thought to be hunting illegally after dark when the incident took place.

The suspect was found not guilty as there was no clear way to prove when he fired the fatal shot.

Officer Spignesi had served with the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection for eight years. He was survived by his father, three brothers, and his sister.

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I had graduated college in May of 1990. In the fall of 90 I met up with at that time Biologist James Spignesi. I asked if I could get a part time job as a Deer Checker with DEP over at Cockaponset State Forest. He wasn’t sure at first since my degree was in Criminal Justice, but I explained that I wanted to be a Game Warden and thought it would be good experience. He gave me the job and I learned a lot about pulling teeth out of dead deer.

After the season was over with I was fortunate to get hired on by US Fish and Wildlife Service as a Refuge Officer. Jim went on to become a DEP Conservation Officer. I had heard from another CT Conservation Officer Years later that Jim had been shot and killed.

I have recently retired as a Special Agent (Fisheries) and I got to looking at this site. Even though it’s been 26 years since I last saw him I still remember how much he loved being involved with managing and protecting wildlife. He was also a real nice guy and it was nice of him to give me a chance at that job.

Special Agent (Retired) David Reilly
NOAA NMFS
November 11, 2016

 

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