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Wink, prior to arrest: Tenant ‘was after me’

The Norwalk Police ESU (Emergency Services Unit) departs the Nelson Avenue crime scene, Jan. 20. (Harold F. Cobin)

Then-Norwalk Deputy Republican Registrar Ellen Wink, as shown in her mug shot last week. She has been charged with murder and held on $1 million bond. She is scheduled to appear in court Friday and make a plea. If she makes bond, she will be in home confinement with a GPS monitor. (Norwalk Police Department)

NORWALK, Conn. – Murder suspect Ellen Wink yelled, “He was after me,” in a 911 call to Norwalk Police after allegedly shooting her tenant, Kurt Lametta, according to a synopsis of the call by a detective investigating Thursday’s incident.

Wink stated she has a gun, Det. John Sura says in his report, and that her tenant at 16 Nelson Ave. came after her because she was cleaning up a little and he was all over the place.

“I am so tired of this guy, he is on the floor,” Sura quotes Wink telling the dispatcher who answered the 911 call, received at 11:48 a.m.

The gun is empty and in the kitchen, Wink reportedly said.

Officers later located a .38 caliber Smith & Wesson revolver on a kitchen counter in Wink’s residence at 18 Nelson Ave., across the street from where the 54-year-old Lametta was found.

“The revolver still had five empty casings in the cylinder which had all been fired,” Sura reported.

He said Lametta was pronounced dead by a paramedic at 12:19 p.m. in the living room of the house at 16 Nelson Ave., which Wink owns.

An examination of Lametta’s body at the scene found he had been shot five times, Sura reported.

Wink,  a former Norwalk City Clerk, was charged with murder and held on $1 million bond.

16 Nelson Ave. (Harold F. Cobin)

First Officers Arrive on Scene

In their reports, the two Patrol Officers initially dispatched to the incident, Brian Barrett and Tiffany Ortiz, describe locating Lametta on the floor inside 16 Nelson Ave. and afterwards encountering Wink exiting her home and walking onto the front lawn at 18 Nelson Ave.

Ortiz estimates she and Barrett were dispatched to the scene at approximately 11:53 a.m. “for the report of a verbal argument between landlord and tenant.”

Both officers note they had been advised the 911 complainant, later identified as Wink, stated there was a gun in the home.

Ortiz understood the dispatcher to say the gun “was not being used and empty.” Barrett had it that the gun “was in another room empty.”

“I approached the residence as Ofc. Ortiz arrived on the scene,” Barrett states. “As I walked toward the front door, no complaints (sic) or residents were on scene … and the home appeared quiet….As I got to the top of the porch, I looked through the front door glass and could see a large white male laying on the floor with a large amount of blood around him.”

Barrett reports he withdrew his gun, backed off the porch, and advised Ortiz of the male victim inside.

“Given the fact that dispatch had advised that a gun was mentioned in the complainant’s 911 call, we backed off the property,” Barrett says.

Ortiz reports she unholstered her duty weapon and retreated from the house, creating a perimeter. She reports notifying dispatch of the injured victim and requesting EMS, additional units and a supervisor to respond to the scene.

The officers then report spotting a female exiting 18 Nelson Ave.

“She was waving at me and holding a jacket in her right hand,” Ortiz says. I could not see her right hand, so I ordered Wink to drop her jacket and show me her hands (and) she complied.

Ortiz then quotes Wink saying, “I’m Ellen, I called. My gun is empty.”

“What’s going on? Who had a gun?” Ortiz says she asked.

“I did,” Wink stated, according to Ortiz.

“Did you use it?” Ortiz quotes Barrett asking.

“Yes, I did,” was Wink’s reply, Ortiz says. “Five times. I know I’m arrested.”

Ortiz reports then handcuffing Wink and patting her down for weapons.

Barrett reports asking Wink if anyone else was inside 16 Nelson Ave. and her replying there was a tenant on the second floor.

Barrett says she then stated, “Kurt Lametta, he’s been my tenant and he’s f-ing driving me nuts.”

The officers reported that as they were handcuffing Wink, a man, later identified as James Gavin, exited 18 Nelson Ave. He was handcuffed and briefly detained.

Asking why he was being handcuffed, Barrett says he told Gavin someone had been shot next door. Gavin, he says, replied, “I heard gunshots, she shot him.”

Norwalk Police, Thursday at 16 Nelson Ave. (Harold F. Cobin)

The Investigation

After inspecting the house at 16 Nelson Ave., Sura, the arresting officer, said he spoke with the upstairs tenant, who stated he heard a loud noise, like maybe gunshots.

He said he heard Wink and Lametta arguing, and heard Lametta yell “call 911” during the exchange.

Sura said he then spoke with Gavin, who he identified as Wink’s boyfriend.

Gavin stated he was working in his office at 18 Nelson Ave. “when he heard bangs, a pause and then a few more bangs,” according to Sura.

Sura reports Gavin said he was not sure what the bangs were, but that then Wink came back to the house, she told him “Lametta came at [her].”

Later, during an interview at police headquarters, Gavin reportedly told Sura and Det. Daniel Serio he heard bangs from outside that could have been shots. He said he looked out the window and saw Wink exiting 16 Nelson Ave. from the side door by the garages, which face Roscoe Street, and return to 18 Nelson Ave.

He said he did not see Wink holding a gun or anything, Sura reported.

According to Sura’s account of the interview, Gavin said Wink told him, “Lametta got in [her] face (or something) and [she] shot him.”

Gavin then asked Wink if she hit him, meaning did she shoot Lametta, and she stated that “she did not think that she missed.”

Gavin said he wanted to check Lametta to see if he was OK and Wink said he should not.

Gavin added that Wink is afraid of Lametta and Lametta had a previous issue with another tenant where he threatened to kill him.
Serio quoted Gavin as saying, in the interview at headquarters, that Wink had asked the tenants at 16 Nelson Ave. to leave because she wants to sell the property.

Gavin, Serio reported, said, “Kurt doesn’t pay rent,” and estimated he had not paid since possibly September.

A sign, Thursday at 16 Nelson Ave. (Harold F. Cobin)

Gavin said he did not know why Wink went to 16 Nelson Ave., but that she was trying to get stuff organized there to sell it, according to Serio, who quoted Gavin as reporting Wink told him she shot Lametta and didn’t think she missed.

Gavin reportedly asked Wink if Lametta was alive and she replied, “Yea, he is alive.”

Wink then called 911 to report the incident, Gavin told Serio.

Serio said Gavin told him Wink and Lametta had never been physical, “just screaming,” and that he had never seen Wink “be violent or crazy.”

Sura reported Lametta’s cellphone was found outside 16 Nelson Ave. on the ground in bushes near the side door by the garage.

 

How The Call Was Dispatched

The Incident Log on the Norwalk Police website shows the Nelson Avenue call being reported at 11:48 p.m., with a call type of “Death-Homicide.”

However, the call was dispatched as a Code 11, the Norwalk Police classification for a disturbance.

In the radioed dispatch, the dispatcher describes a report of a 44 (complainant) and her tenant in a verbal Code 11, adding, “they’re currently separated.”

The dispatcher told the two officers being assigned the call, Barrett and Ortiz, that the complainant stated that there was an 87 (weapon) in the house, “but it is not being used or touched.”

He also advised them that the complainant stated the tenant was with another male in the home.

The complainant, he said, stated she would be waiting in the driveway.

Based on a recording made by NancyOnNorwalk of the dispatch and subsequent radio communications, six minutes and 51 seconds elapsed from the time the officers acknowledged receipt of the call to when

Officer Barrett reported he was stepping out at 16 Nelson Ave.

One minute and 34 seconds later, Ortiz broadcasted there was someone down inside the house and to dispatch an ambulance and a supervisor to the location.

A Facebook post.

In his synopsis of the 911 call, Sura says Wink reported that she kept telling Lametta to get out and she had enough.

Wink continued rambling about issues Lametta caused and said this had been ongoing. Sura said, “Wink said she’s shaking and never hurt anyone in her life.”

 

Wink terminated from Registrar role

Then-District 137 State Representative candidate Ellen Wink in 2020. ( Courtesy photo)

Wink, 61, known for her many volunteer activities in Norwalk, has been Deputy Republican Registrar about a year and a half. She was terminated as of Friday, according to Republican Town Committee Acting Chairman Fred Wilms.

“Elections integrity is paramount to the functioning of our democracy. As such our elections officials must possess the highest levels of public confidence,” the statement from Wilms said. “The search for a new Deputy Registrar has already begun. Once again our thoughts go out to the entire Lametta family and to everyone in our community affected by this tragedy.”

Wink ran unsuccessfully for Common Council in 2017 and unsuccessfully challenged State Rep. Chris Perone’s bid for reelection in 2020. She served as a Redevelopment Agency Commissioner under former Mayor Frank Esposito and as City Clerk under former Mayor Richard Moccia.

“We know members of the Lametta family. Barb and I sent our condolences to them,” Moccia said in an email. “Sad times.”

Information added, 12:11 p.m.

13 comments

David Muccigrosso January 25, 2022 at 7:25 am

“He was after me”.

How convenient that there were no witnesses to corroborate.

If you were afraid for your life enough to have a gun, why didn’t you have the cops escort you “cleaning up” in the first place? Is it maybe because you were illegally attempting an eviction?

The whole story is fishy.

Niz January 25, 2022 at 2:50 pm

I do not know the deceased or defendant or they’re people.
It’s not right to kil a person!!
Laws are in place about when it’s a must or not.

as I read and hear about this tragic matter, I recall when I struggled with rent years ago / a living arrangement was not going well, I knew to move in with my people.

To stay where there are issues, police involved, where one is not welcome is not wise.

We never really know certain people, nor what’s in their head or heart.

Be mindful when offending or imposing on others folks,.

murder is up like 30% in Connecticut & so is suicide.

With this 2 year ‘pandemic’ we just don’t realize how much it’s affected us all.

Sincerest condolences to the loved ones of the deceased & as for the plaintiff, sorry you didn’t know how to think through it and act responsibly.

Your life will never be the same. Those who love you must be feeling so confused too.

Justataxpayer January 25, 2022 at 4:59 pm

I wasn’t there. We’re you?

I don’t know landlord rights but as we can see the house is for sale. If she simply shot him by walking in, that’s one thing. If there’s truth to the comments that she was bullied by him and was threatened, that’s a different story. Let’s let the justice system do what it’s there for.

Mitch Adis January 25, 2022 at 5:41 pm

He threatened to kill another tenant, and was a big guy too. Who knows what weapon(s) he had access to as well.

I am sure we all agree we shouldn’t expect a police officer to escort us every time we think the situation may be unsafe. How about victims of domestic abuse? Is it their fault for not getting a police escort? The police can’t be everywhere, so it’s up to everyone to ensure their safety. A legal weapon is one of many options.

I’m willing to wait for all the evidence before convicting either side. You should be too.

James January 25, 2022 at 11:48 pm

I bring a gun nowhere, cuz I’m not paranoid. I don’t need one and do not need trouble like that. She posted that Lazy Kurt Gotta go.. Not fishy, but obvious.. it does not sound like he was a danger to her, meanwhile she was carrying a .38 caliber Smith & Wesson revolver.

Mitch Adis January 26, 2022 at 10:15 am

Let’s summarize
– Gainfully employed
– Able body adult
– Received multiple stimulus checks
– Able to pay for a cellphone, internet, cable, food and booze
– One year not paying rent, but stayed anyway because you can.

Nobody should die needlessly. However, our choices in life do have an impact on the amount of time we get on earth.

Milly January 26, 2022 at 11:57 am

The latest info is that Lametta’s cell phone was found in the bushes and a video is on it of the shooting – the
prosecutor says it “contradicts” Wink’s self defense claim.

Pamela Parkington January 26, 2022 at 1:04 pm

Per The Hour article today the victim captured the confrontation and the fatal shooting on his phone. Which contradicts her assertion of him coming after her. The phone was later found in the bushes outside the home.

Thomas Belmont January 28, 2022 at 12:11 pm

Ellen Wink needs a Perry Mason lawyer desperately. Public opinion is against her and prosecutors can’t wait to make a career on it. So far it is not as popular as the Rittenhouse case. No video recordings. So far as I know the evidence is that she shot him. She said it was self-defense. In regard to that I know It is not very popular to defend yourself these days. Her political affiliation is made known as if that had anything to do with it. The other party has guns too but her party Made Public she was fired immediately and apparently abandoned her (retreating from a spectacle of a possible serious crime associated with the party). The question there is “Is that the American way?” In many ways the jury is out.

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