Eugene Kenny’s Glock Turns Up, Loaded

Paul Bass PhotoTen guns disappeared from a late NRA instructor’s safe. A year later, one of those guns reemerged inside the sleeve of a sweatshirted man running down a downtown alley away from Tom Glynn and Matt Williams.

Glynn and Williams, two New Haven patrol cops, ended up in the alley while working extra-duty on another crazy weekend night in the downtown club district.

Glynn found himself in a second night-time foot chase a week later, near a Beaver Hills graveyard—and recovered a loaded illegal gun then, too.

While he does jog a mile or so a few times a week, Glynn doesn’t consider himself a standout runner. Having the right footwear gave him an edge in one of the chases.

In both cases, the officers may have stopped someone from getting shot. In the case of the downtown chase, they prevented what could have been an all-too-predictable ending to the story of how guns end up on New Haven streets.

Fully Loaded

That story began in November 2012, when someone broke into a safe inside the Edgewood Avenue apartment of one Eugene Kenny.

Kenny was a licensed NRA instructor and thoughtful, outspoken Second Amendment advocate. He told police that someone made off with a safe that contained 10 guns—mostly handguns, plus a Saiga 12 rifle. (Some time later he accidentally shot himself in the foot with a different gun; he later died from complications related to that injury. Click on the play arrow to watch him discuss the incident.)

Police never solved the burglary, which showed no sign of forced entry. They’ve wanted to know what happened to the guns—since stolen guns often make their way back to the street, and are used in violent, sometimes deadly assaults.

That’s what could have happened early on Sunday, Dec. 29, if Glynn and Williams hadn’t been on the job.

Police got a report around 1 a.m. that a shooting may have occurred outside the Lazy Lizard on Crown Street. It was shaping up to be another frantic weekend in the entertainment district.

Officers arrived to find hundreds of people fleeing the club in panic. It turned out that broken glass, not a gunshot, set off the panic.

But fights were starting, as usual amid the closing hours of the bar district on weekend nights.

Glynn and Williams were working as a team that night on extra duty. Usually Glynn—the grandson of a cop, who’s 25 and a year out of the academy—walks a beat in Beaver Hills. Williams—stepson of a state trooper, who’s 30—regularly patrols Dixwell, where he has earned a reputation as a proactive problem-solver as well as a trusted field training officer for rookies, according to his boss, Sgt. Sam Brown.

Glynn and Williams said they saw a tall man in a black hooded sweatshirt “make a motion” with his hand on his chest as the fight was about to start on Crown Street. As the crowd dispersed, the man headed down Crown toward College. The two officers decided to follow him. “You kind of pick up on it, from working the street,” when certain arm motions signal the possibility of a person reaching for a gun, Williams said.

At first, the man kept his pace to a brisk walk. Mid-block, he crossed onto an alley connecting Crown to George. The officers followed. The man picked up his speed, then disappeared.

Without needing to exchange words, the officers decided instantly to start running after the man.

They found him in the middle of George Street. No cars were in the road at the time.

“Hey!” the officers called out. The man stopped.

“Show us your hands!” the cops shouted.

The officers approached him; he didn’t resist. Williams grabbed his left arm; Glynn grabbed his right. As they put the man’s arms behind him and took him to the ground, Glynn felt a hard object in the man’s sleeve.

“Matt, gun in his sleeve!” Glynn called out as he removed it and completed handcuffing the suspect.

The weapon turned out to be a semi-automatic Glock 21, .45-caliber handgun outfitted with a laser attachment. It was fully loaded, with a bullet in the chamber—ready to be fired.


The arrested man, who is 20 years old and lives in the Hill neighborhood, did not have a permit to own the pistol. He was charged with illegal gun possession. A records search showed that the Glock was registered to Eugene Kenny.

So far, detectives have not established a tie between the arrested suspect and the late Kenny, according to Lt. Al Vazquez. Often stolen guns get resold on the street, he said.

Vazquez said none of Kenny’s other stolen guns have turned up. Yet.

As Williams and Glynn attended to the arrest on George Street, other officers were sent to another call of a possible shooting, at Club X (formerly known as Center Street Lounge), where a hip-hop party was letting out. This time a gunman did fire a round, hitting a 24-year-old man and sending him to the hospital.

Footprints In The Snow

Officer Williams had recovered other stolen guns after foot chases in his five years as a New Haven cop. For Officer Glynn, the episode in the bar district was his first such arrest and recovery. He felt proud of it.

Back in Beaver Hills, Glynn’s usual patrol partner, Matt Collier (who graduated from the police academy along with Glynn in December 2012), was disappointed he missed out on the incident that night.

He’d get his own chance, along with Glynn, the following Saturday night, Jan. 4.

It was a frigid night. Few people were on the street. Glynn and Collier patrolled by car that evening, not, as they usually do, on foot.

Nothing much was happening until shortly after 7:35 p.m., when Collier pulled the cruiser to a stop sign on Osborne Street at the intersection of Blake, across the street from a series of cemeteries.

They saw a young man on a bike run the stop sign at the eastern Blake Street corner of the intersection. A minivan was passing through the intersection at the moment; the minivan driver slammed on the brake, narrowly avoiding a crash.

The cyclist zoomed past westbound on Blake. Collier pulled the cruiser behind him and activated the flashing lights.

“He’s going to stop, and we’re going to talk to him” about how he ran the stop sign, Glynn remembered thinking.

Instead of stopping, the cyclist did a quick U-turn. Then he ditched the bike and took off on foot, running back toward Osborn.

Glynn hopped out of the car and ran after him.

Treacherous black ice covered the street. The fleeing man slipped and fell. He got back up, ran behind a house on Osborn.

As he ran, he repeatedly “reached into his waistband,” Glynn said. An action that often suggests a suspect is armed.

Glynn almost lost his footing, too, but remained standing, and running. “It was all ice,” he said. Fortunately he had on his black SWAT-style boots, which have good traction. The fleeing suspect wore sneakers.

The suspect emerged from the back of the house, still running. He ran into the street—and slipped again. Glynn was right there.

Collier had arrived on the scene with the cruiser. He and Glynn handcuffed the man. Then Collier followed the suspect’s footsteps in the snow back behind the house—where he found a Smith & Wesson 9-millimeter handgun. That gun, too, was loaded. It turned out to be stolen. The officers charged the man, who is 19 and lives in the Hill, with carrying a pistol without a permit, firearm theft, and third-degree trespassing.

Two chases and gun recoveries in eight days—“it was exciting,” allowed Glynn. He felt he was helping to keep New Haven safer. Looking back, he said he didn’t feel scared during the two chases. He didn’t have time to. “Everything happens so fast,” he said, “it’s instinct.”


Read other installments in the Independent’s “Cop of the Week” series:

Shafiq Abdussabur
Craig Alston & Billy White Jr.
James Baker
Lloyd Barrett
Manmeet Bhagtana (Colon)
Paul Bicki
Paul Bicki (2)
Sheree Biros
Brendan Borer & Michael Haines
Scott Branfuhr
Dennis Burgh
Anthony Campbell
Rob Clark & Joe Roberts
Sydney Collier
Carlos Conceicao
Carlos Conceicao (2)
Carlos Conceicao and Josh Kyle
David Coppola
Roy Davis
Joe Dease
Milton DeJesus
Milton DeJesus (2)
Brian Donnelly
Anthony Duff
Robert DuPont
Jeremie Elliott and Scott Shumway
Jose Escobar Sr.
Bertram Ettienne
Bertram Ettienne (2)
Martin Feliciano & Lou DeCrescenzo
Paul Finch
Jeffrey Fletcher
Renee Forte
Marco Francia
Michael Fumiatti
William Gargone
William Gargone & Mike Torre
Derek Gartner
Derek Gartner & Ryan Macuirzynski
Jon Haddad & Daniela Rodriguez
Dan Hartnett
Ray Hassett
Robert Hayden
Robin Higgins
Ronnell Higgins
William Hurley & Eddie Morrone
Racheal Inconiglios
Juan Ingles
Paul Kenney
Hilda Kilpatrick
Herb Johnson
John Kaczor & Alex Morgillo
Jillian Knox
Peter Krause
Peter Krause (2)
Amanda Leyda
Rob Levy
Anthony Maio
Dana Martin
Steve McMorris
Juan Monzon
Chris Perrone
Ron Perry
Joe Pettola
Diego Quintero and Elvin Rivera
Ryan Przybylski
Stephanie Redding
Tony Reyes
David Rivera
Luis & David Rivera
Luis Rivera (2)
Salvador Rodriguez
Salvador Rodriguez (2)
Brett Runlett
David Runlett
Betsy Segui & Manmeet Colon
Allen Smith
Marcus Tavares
Martin Tchakirides
David Totino
Stephan Torquati
Gene Trotman Jr.
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Lars Vallin (& Xander)
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John Velleca
Manuella Vensel
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posted by: Call it as I see it on January 10, 2014  6:37pm

Well done gentlemen.  Stay safe

posted by: BenBerkowitz on January 10, 2014  6:57pm

Unbelievable testament to the unique journalism of the Indy Paul.

This is a story is about 1 of 10 stolen guns that hyperlink back to a story about the stolen guns that hyperlinks to the obituary of the man who the guns were stolen from. All seemingly unrelated incidents, each newsworthy, with a common thread that the Independent has stitched together for us in an unbiased and thoughtful construction.

I’m sure Eugene would be rolling over in his grave to know that one of his weapons has turned up in the wrong hands but it sure is interesting to see how the weapon has turned into a character on the Independent.

RIP Eugene.

posted by: NewHaven06513 on January 11, 2014  11:30am

RIP Eugene you were a great man and teacher! This ones for you…
Did the man who dropped that stolen gun, without a permit register that gun in accordance with Dan Malloys new gun laws? Of course not… Malloys laws are aimed at criminalizing law abiding citizens and as a half witted response to Sandy Hook. The state panel never discussed, included or cared about inner city gun violence or criminal possession!

posted by: Trustme on January 11, 2014  1:04pm

Great job, stay safe.

posted by: JustAnotherTaxPayer on January 12, 2014  10:12pm

After it all is said and done, after all the in house nonsense, transfers of those that may not be the best choice, promotions of those that most everybody knows is a dis-service to the public, and the department, all the managers who are put in charge, who don’t manage, and do not have the skills to lead, where leaders are needed most, the ability of these officers to “go get it”, not wait for a dispatcher to tell them what their next “job” is, or go to the cemetery to actually hide(not to get a safe place for a cup of coffee) because they are actually scared or/lazy, or weasel for a promotion or transfer, because they believe this makes them a better “cop”, take note, these are real cops. They “go get it”, every shift, whenever they go into the street(yes they hate being a desk cop, where some make that there five year plan to promotion)it is with the best of intentions. Thank You to these cops, and their peers who are doing the same types of things, every day, in conditions that sometimes seems to be like “shoveling sh** against the tide.”

And thank you to all the other cops who continue to do this, the cops that have done it, and left un-noticed, it won’t get much better than this for you. Working with trusted coworkers, who understand you, because they have the same goals, and understand the only way to make this city safe, is “to go and get it”. I can’t say thank you enough times, to you, your family, your friends.