Police: Naugatuck man shot self after killing woman in Southington

Published on Monday, 4 June 2018 21:44


SOUTHINGTON - A Naugatuck man allegedly shot and killed his former girlfriend in Southington and confessed to a relative before shooting himself in the head in the parking lot of the Naugatuck Police Department, Southington police said Monday.

As of late Monday morning, Robert DeSantis, 40, was in an undisclosed area hospital in “extremely serious” condition, Lt. Stephen Elliott said. He is expected to be charged if he survives.

The motive for the killing of Michelle Barrett, 41, remains unclear.

Police said the investigation continues and several questions remain unanswered.

DeSantis, according to Elliott, did not have any firearms registered in his name.

“That’s one of the things we are still presently investigating: How he came to be in possession of a handgun.” Elliott said, adding that investigators do not yet know who owned the revolver used.

Police are also trying to piece together the events that led to the shooting.

Detectives have interviewed relatives of DeSantis and Barrett, but they still need to examine a number of devices, including cell phones and computers. They have not been able to speak with DeSantis.

“He’s not in a state to be speaking right now,” Elliott said. “His wounds are very serious.”

Police say DeSantis called a relative early Sunday and said he had had killed Barrett. The relative, thinking the incident had occurred in Naugatuck, called police there, who then traced Barrett to her grandmother’s home in Southington, at 58 Manor Road.

Southington police were called at 6 a.m. Sunday. Oficers found Barrett dead in the backyard of the Manor Road house, shot once with a .38-caliber revolver.

Police believe she may have been shot around 1 a.m., as neighbors reported hearing a noise at that time. Barrett’s grandmother was asleep and was not hurt.

Detectives were present for Barrett’s autopsy Monday morning, but they had not relayed the results to Elliott before a press conference late Monday morning at the Southington Police Department.

Some time before Barrett’s body was discovered, DeSantis drove himself to the Naugatuck Police Department and shot himself in the head while parked in the lot, Elliott said.

Elliott speculated that he may have gone there because Naugatuck police were trying to get in contact with him after receiving a call from the relative to whom he allegedly confessed, who has not been identified.

Elliott said DeSantis and Barrett had been a couple, but he did not say when. Neither had a restraining order on the other, and Elliott said there was no history in Southington of any disturbances involving them.

Both have children from other relationships, in their teens and 20s, but none with each other, according to Elliott.

Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or jmuszynski@bristolpress.com.

Posted in New Britain Herald, New Britain on Monday, 4 June 2018 21:44. Updated: Monday, 4 June 2018 23:10.