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Waterbury man arrested in connection to police officer shooting

Waterbury police arrested Jason Perez, 40, for his involvement in Wednesday night's shooting that injured a Naugatuck police officer.

WATERBURY, Conn. — Waterbury police announced an arrest Friday in connection to the Naugatuck police officer who was shot Wednesday night. 

The incident shed light on the ongoing violence involving police officers. 

Jason Perez, 40, of Waterbury turned himself in and was arrested, according to police. They said he is not the alleged shooter, who is still on the loose.

The judge raised Perez's bond to $1 million and said the shooting he was involved in could have left someone killed. 

The incident took place along Chase Parkway across from the on-ramp to Interstate 84. 

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Waterbury police said both a Naugatuck and Wolcott police officer, who are both in a violent crime task force, were serving an arrest warrant for a person involved in a Wolcott shooting two weeks ago. The person they were looking for was not Perez. 

They said the officers felt as if they were being followed by a black Audi, so they started to leave the area. 

Shortly after, someone in the black Audi fired four to six shots in the direction of the officers' car. One of the bullets struck the Naugatuck officer's right shoulder and chest area even with his bulletproof vest on. 

Waterbury Police Chief Fernando Spagnolo emphasized there have been five police officers shot in the last two months. 

"The frightening part about this particular incident is that bullet found its way from the back panel to where the shoulder strap was," said Spagnolo. 

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Undercover police shot at in Waterbury, one grazed by bullet

The injured officer was released from the hospital and is recovering well. 

"It definitely highlights the dangers that our officers face out there. It reminds us what they’re up against," said Chief C. Colin McAllister of the Naugatuck Police Department. 

Police added Perez was in the car with the shooter that night, who is still at large.

"Perez is now charged with assault first degree, conspiracy to commit assault first degree, weapons and motor vehicle," added Chief Spagnolo.

Perez's attorney argued in court he has family in the state as his community support. 

"He actually gave a lot of information to police voluntarily about another person in the vehicle who shot at the police officer," said Perez's attorney. 

Perez has a long criminal history ranging from drugs to violent crimes dating back to 2002. 

RELATED: Manhunt underway for homicide suspect in Naugatuck after death of 1-year-old

The arrest warrant explained Perez gave a ride to a man that Wednesday night who frequents the area for drugs. 

The man told Perez to follow the officers' car because they found it suspicious and the man whipped out a gun and suddenly started shooting. 

Perez stated he was not aware the man was going to shoot. 

"Perez is a convicted felon, he’s a repeat offender, he’s known to the Waterbury police department and throughout the state," added Chief Spagnolo. 

Police said they do expect more arrests to be made. Perez is due back in court on Wednesday, Nov. 30. 

Carmen Chau is an anchor and reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at cchau@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.


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