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Friday, December 09, 2011

One Dead, One Critical in Jewelry Business Shooting

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UPDATE One person was dead and another critical in a shooting at Westport jewelry business tonight, Police Chief Dale Call said. Image
Police converged on the shooting scene tonight at 431 Post Road East in the Compo Shopping Center. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

The shooting occurred shortly before 10 p.m. at YZ Jewelry Manufacturing, formerly SZ Jewelry, on the second floor of 431 Post Road East above Cohen’s Fashion Optical in the Compo Shopping Center, Call said. The address also houses the UJA Federation Westport Weston Wilton and Norwalk.

Police did not immediately identify the victims. Public records show the jewelry business is owned by Yekutiel Zeevi, 65, of Westport.

Police cordoned off the area as an investigation began. Detectives were seeking evidence from any video cameras that might have been operating at the scene and called in the owner of the nearby Gold’s Delicatessen to have him review his video security system.

Late tonight the state police major crime unit arrived at the scene, which police cordoned off with yellow tape.

Patrons from the nearby Little Kitchen Restaurant were among curious passersby who gathered to watch the police activity.

Police were unsure of the circumstances of the shooting, including whether it may have been a robbery, the police chief said.

The jewelry business website said it has 30 years experience in manufacturing of fine jewelry.  A sign at its entrance asked customers to ring bell for admittance.

The jewelry business owner, Yekutiel Zeevi, called Kuti by friends, was born in Israel and established SZ Jewelry Manufacturing in 1981, incorporating in Connecticut.

Zeevi told WestportNow last August that high-end jewelry and precious stones were not seeing the same hard asset rush as gold and silver during the economic downturn.

“The first things they cut are luxuries, and these are seen as luxuries,” he said.

The shooting was the second major crime investigation in Westport in less than a month.

On Nov. 9 a man wanted in connection with a murder in Massachusetts led police on a high speed chase before he was finally captured hours later in Playhouse Square.

Police were also busy with investigation into a fatal house fire on Center Street on Nov. 11 and one involving a devastating fire at the Saugatuck Congregational Church on Nov. 20.

Veteran police officers could not recall another homicide involving a commercial robbery in Westport.

They said the last homicide in Westport occurred about 25 years ago in an incident on Bayberry Lane.

Dave Matlow and James Lomuscio contributed reporting

Posted 12/09 at 03:45 AM

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