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Fairfield, The Center Plan Vigil After 'Worst' Case Of Domestic Violence

Debra Greenwood is the President/CEO of The Center for Family Violence in Bridgeport. The Center serves victims and raises awareness about domestic and sexual violence in Bridgeport, Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, Stratford and Trumbull. Photo Credit: Contributed
Fairfield police at the home where a man was fatally shot by an officer Tuesday morning. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness

FAIRFIELD, Conn. — After a Fairfield family endured "the single worst incident of domestic violence we have been called on to respond to," the Center for Family Justice and town of Fairfield are planning a community vigil for support and healing.

The Center, which addresses issues of domestic violence in Bridgeport, Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, Stratford and Trumbull, is co-sponsoring the candlelight vigil set for 6 p.m. Sunday at the Town Green in front of Old Town Hall.

First Selectman Michael Tetreau is expected to speak, along with Debra. A. Greenwood, president/CEO of The Center.

“Our hearts are heavy today ... We have been called on to respond to a tragedy that no family anywhere should ever have to endure," Greenwood said in a statement about the fatal domestic violence case.

The Center is seeing an increase in calls to its hotline since the attack as residents seek help and information on domestic violence.

At about 6 a.m. Tuesday, Fairfield police responded to a 911 call to 22 Mountain Laurel Road . When Officer Sean Fenton arrived, Christopher Andrews, 51, was in the driveway holding a knife, police said. When Andrews refused to drop the weapon, Fenton shot and killed him , police said.

Andrews had apparently attacked his family early that morning, police said. His 15-year-old son said he wrestled a baseball bat out of his father's hands, while his 13-year-old daughter called 911 on a cellphone, police said.

Inside the home, Andrews' wife, 50, was lying in the master bedroom with “blunt force and stab-like wounds” to her face near their 12-year-old son, who also sustained blunt-force trauma to the head and face, police said. Both remain hospitalized.

"I am sorry to say it is the single worst incident of domestic violence we have been called on to respond to in my nine-year tenure leading this organization," said Greenwood.

Although the organization does not know what triggered the attack, the staff is pointing out some of the risk factors in violent relationships:

  • Has your abuser ever used a weapon against you or threatened you with a weapon?
  • Has your abuser every threatened to kill you or your children?
  • Do you think your abuser might try to kill you?
  • Has the verbal, emotional or physical violence increased in frequency or severity in the past six months?
  • Does your abuser have a gun or weapon s/he easily get one?
  • Has your abuser every tried to choke you?
  • Have you recently left, separated from or divorced your abuser?

The Center urges anyone living in a violent, abusive home, to seek help as soon as possible. The Center's domestic violence hotline (203-384-9559) is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All help is free and confidential. In an emergency, call 911.

Last year, the Center served more than 253 victims of domestic violence in Fairfield and more than 8,000 across its six-town service area.

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