Officer Brian Tornga, a relatively new member of the Greenwich, Conn., police force, was honored as 2008’s Officer of the Year for his response to a Sept. 2008 incident in which a Pemberwick grandfather, Gerardo Lombardi, allegedly shot and stabbed to death his ex-daughter-in-law.
On Sept. 4, Greenwich police dispatchers alerted all police units that there was a report of “shots fired” in the Pemberwick section of Greenwich.
All available units of the west end of town were directed to respond. Officer Tornga was on patrol near by and was the first officer to arrive.
He saw several men running from a residence and hide behind cars. The men pointed to the rear of an entrance saying, “He’s got a gun and he shot her.”
Tornga, without hesitation ran toward the rear of the residence and encountered a bloodied man who was holding a gun and a knife.
He drew his weapon and ordered the man to drop the gun and knife. The man at first hesitated but within a matter of tense minutes, Tornga got the man to surrender.
The award ceremony, held at the Western Greenwich Civic Center, takes place every few years to recognize officers who went above and beyond the call of duty. Nearly 75 officers were honored at the ceremony.
Previously, Officer Tornga was awarded the Officer of the Month in October 2008, officer of the quarter, and has been awarded the Meritorious Police Duty Medal by the Silver Shields awards committee.
Brian is the son of George and Cheryl Tornga of Conrad. He and his wife, Becky live in Greenwich.