The former bodyguard of Louis Antonelli, a jeweler who was shot on April 29, was himself shot to death Tuesday morning by law enforcement. The deceased, Jason Aiello –36, was a retired police sergeant and one-time protector to Antonelli.
Police officers were dispatched after two 911 calls from the Aillo home.
The first call was for shots fired and 5 minutes later a second call was made for a domestic dispute between the couple.
Aiello was at Bayley Seton Hospital, where his family had checked him into the psychiatric ward at 10:00 p.m. the night before. Aiello had been under extreme pressure to answer questions from detectives and the FBI regarding Antonelli’s shooting, and had become “delusional.” Sometime between 3 and 4 a.m., after becoming agitated, Aiello escaped, according to the family’s attorney Peter Antioco.
Law enforcement claims that Aiello brandished two guns and fired at officers seven times. The police returned fire–a total of19 rounds–three of which hit Aiello. Officers claim they repeatedly asked Aillo to drop his weapon, but he refused and then fired at him. Law enforcement sources believe Aiello was seeking to commit “suicide by cop,” but family members and their attorney are denying Aiello was suicidal.
Antioco reported that when the police arrived, one of Aiello’s family members had taken away one of the two 9mm guns Aiello had in his possession. Aiello’s wife took away the second 9mm gun and threw it out of the car window, and screamed to the police “I have the gun, stop shooting!” But officers continued shoot. According to Antioco, “There is a serious question whether or not he fired his gun, at all.”
The family is claiming that 20 to 25 shots were fired at Aiello, as he sat in his cousin’s car. His wife was in the passenger seat with him, but was not shot. The couple’s three children, aged 2, 5, and 6 were in the vicinity and were quickly removed from the scene.
Police detectives and the FBI had been questioing Aiello repeatedly regarding the circumstances of his employer’s shooting death. He was never charged, but there was some suspicion as to what role, if any, he may have played in Antonelli’s death. To all appearances, Aiello was one of the only people who knew he and Antonelli would be at the El Sabor Tropical Restaurant the night Antonelli was shot, and the usually armed Aiello was without his fire arm that night. Antonelli had also walked out of the restaurant alone.
Aiello claimed he had nothing to do with the shooting. He also claimed that he didn’t know any of the suspects arrested in connection with the crime.
His family called him “a family man” with a 15-year history in the Brooklyn police department. He’d been retired from the police force for the past two years.