By Joe Vazquez

GREENBRAE (CBS 5) – An elderly Greenbrae resident and a home invasion suspect were injured in an exchange of gunfire Wednesday at a home on the 300 block of Via La Cumbre.

Authorities told CBS 5 that the suspect, identified as 30-year-old Novato resident Joseph Cutrufelli, allegedly kicked in the door of the residence shortly before 11 a.m. and held 90-year-old World War II veteran Jay Leon captive. Leon eventually retreated to a back room and grabbed a .38 handgun that he used to shoot the suspect three times.

During a gunfire exchange, Cutrufelli shot the victim once in the face, police Sgt. Michael Norton said.  Cutrufelli then fled in a vehicle.

A short time later, Cutrufelli called San Rafael police saying that he had shot himself, and was in the area of Tiburon Boulevard and Altena Street in San Rafael, about a mile from where the shooting occurred, Norton said. He said he needed medical attention.

jay leon Elderly Man, Burglary Suspect Injured In Greenbrae Shootout

Greenbrae shooting victim Jay Leon (Facebook)

It was soon determined that it was Cutrufelli who had broken into the Greenbrae home, Norton said.

Twin Cities police learned about the crime when a woman who lives downstairs at the Via La Cumbre residence called to report hearing unusual sounds coming from her neighbor’s unit upstairs, Norton said.

A few minutes later, Leone called Twin Cities police to report that he had been shot in the head.

Both Cutrufelli and the injured resident were taken to Martin General Hospital and are in stable condition, Norton said. Cutrufelli was arrested on suspicion of burglary and attempted murder.

KCBS’ Susan Kennedy Reports:

According to the Marin Independent Journal, Cutrufelli had a prior criminal record, including a 2001 attempted murder charge after stabbing a Novato pedestrian who complained about nearly being hit in a crosswalk.

He pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon and received a six-year prison sentence.

Gary Charlstrom, who lives across the street from where the shooting happened, said Leone fought in WWII.

“He’s a class act, a very refined guy—an absolute gentleman,” Charlstrom said.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City New Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (11)
  1. GeneL says:

    Joe is a career criminal and just keeps on getting out of prison!

    1. Of Grace says:

      Great catch ylime!! There’s got to be relation with a name like that. Lets all face it, kids repeat what they learn. Seems this nut didn’t fall far from it’s tree!! 92 years old and still sharp as a whip, more power to you Mr. Leone!! God speed!!!

  2. avoteforthevet says:

    Vet should have shot the thug 4 times and finished the job for taxpayers. Now thug gets free room and board in the jail, courtesy of taxpayers.

  3. Bob D. says:

    Congrats to Mr. Leone. I hope your recovery is quick. It is nice to see there are still a few in Marin that are capable of defending themselves.

  4. nosurprize says:

    a real sociopath.

  5. Hali says:

    This is the second story about a home invader being shot by the resident. What a brave old man! Too bad he didn’t finish this thug. They should lock him up for good now.

  6. Whiskey in a Jar says:

    Wish the Vet would have killed him, too!!

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