Bridgewater police seize 38 firearms from home of ex-Avon police officer shot by State Police
George Rizer for The Boston Globe
STOUGHTON – Police seized 38 weapons, including assault rifles and shotguns, along with thousands of rounds of ammunition, from the Bridgewater home of a distraught former police officer who was shot by State Police as he allegedly tried to run them down Wednesday night in Avon with his truck, law enforcement officials said.
Five firearms are unaccounted for, according to a State Police report filed in Stoughton District Court today. Gene Guilbault, formerly an Avon police officer, had a valid firearms license from the Bridgewater police.
Guilbault appeared today in court, where Judge Richard Savignano ordered him held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing set for next Wednesday. His wife, Sherry, has obtained a restraining order that she said was needed to protect herself and their 13-year-old daughter, officials said today.
During his court appearance, his attorney, Jacqueline Modiste, said Guilbault is suffering from mental health issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder connected to his work as an Avon officer.
During his 13 years on the force, a child who was struck by a vehicle died in his arms, leaving him emotionally scarred. She said he had previously worked as a correction officer in the Norfolk County sheriff’s office.
“Up until this point he has been an upstanding and outstanding member of the community,’’ she said in court.
According to State Police, the incident began around 9:30 p.m. inside the Guilbault family home on Beaver Dam Road in Bridgewater when Sherry Guilbault found her husband lying on the floor of a closet, balled up into a fetal position.
“‘I don’t want to be here,’” Guilbault told his wife before he grabbed a rifle and put the barrel in his mouth, Sherry Guilbault told State Police.
Sherry Guilbault jumped on his back, wrestled the rifle away from him and told him he was “not going to do this while their daughter was in the house.’’
Gene Guilbault left the Bridgewater house after arming himself with a Sig Sauer 9mm pistol. Sherry Guilbault told State Police she and her daughter fled to a neighbor’s house, where she called her sister-in-law, Priscilla Phelps, who asked her why she did not call police for help.
“Sherry told her she fears for the police officers’ safety because of previous statements he made about not being taken alive,’’ State Trooper James J. Morris wrote in the six-page report.
Phelps, Guilbault’s sister, contacted their brother, Avon Police Officer Charles Guilbault, who convinced his brother to meet him at the Dunkin’ Donuts store on Page Street in Avon, which is a mostly commercial neighborhood.
Gene Guilbault, meanwhile, had driven to his mother’s house in Avon where he spoke to his mother, then departed, leaving the 9mm handgun behind without her knowledge, the report said.
Charles Guilbault, who was in full uniform and in a marked Avon police cruiser, called State Police for help in getting his brother under control, telling the troopers that his brother “is a gun nut and something is up, and I am nervous,’’ police wrote.
At Charles Guilbault’s instructions, three cruisers positioned themselves around the Dunkin’ Donuts store but out of Gene Guilbault’s view. After Gene Guilbault arrived in a pickup truck, the two brothers talked while Gene Guilbault paced alongside his pickup truck, leading troopers to fear that he was reaching into the vehicle to arm himself, the report said.
Morris said in his report that he heard someone on the Avon police channel order them not to allow Gene Guilbault to leave. The troopers tried to box in the truck with their cruisers, while State Police Sergeant John Corbett and Trooper Gregory Jasinskas then approached him on foot. At that point, State Police said, Gene Guilbault revved the truck in the direction of Jasinskas, who fired one shot at the oncoming truck. Seconds later, Gene Guilbault crashed head-on into another cruiser and was taken into custody.
Guilbault was treated and released at Good Samaritan Hospital in Brockton for his leg wound.
After his arrest, Guilbault told troopers that his brother, Charles, was “dead to me,’’ the report said.
According to Avon Town Administrator Michael McCue, Gene Guilbault was an Avon police officer from 1993 and resigned in 2006.Brian Ballou can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeBallou.
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