Connecticut man shoots and kills worker to create job opening on construction crew
A 34-year-old man in Bridgeport, Connecticut shot and killed a construction worker because he wanted to create a job opening on the work site, according to witnesses.
CTPost.com reported Wednesday that Gregory Weathers was frustrated when he was told there were no job openings at a construction project on March 26, 2015, so he produced a handgun and shot 31-year-old Jose Araujo of Milford, killing him.
Weathers’ trial began Tuesday. He appeared before a three-judge panel. At the trial opening, retired Police Detective Paul Ortiz said, “He said he was looking for a job and he felt they weren’t helping him out to get a job. He was apologetic, sorry for what he had done.”
Assistant Public Defender Bradford Buchta is representing Weathers at the trial. He is expected to call a pair of psychiatrists to testify on Wednesday that Weathers suffers from a mental illness or defect, also known as the insanity defense.
Superior Court Judge John Kavanewsky Jr. asked Weathers at the outset of the trial if he is taking any medications.
“Yes, sir,” Weathers replied. “They help me think clearer.”
The Post said that he then sat calmly at the defense table as witness after witness told the same story. In March of 2015, a road crew was installing a gas main when they were approached by a man in a hoodie who “fist-bumped” with Jose Araujo and asked the supervisor if any jobs were available.
Matthew Girdzis of Burns Construction testified that he told Weathers that he would need to fill out an application. Weathers walked away but returned in minutes with a handgun and opened fire.
“He just started shooting,” said Diamantino Pires, another worker who was on the scene. “Jose was helpless. I wanted to help him but there was nothing I could do. He (Weathers) just kept shooting and shooting.”
Danny Ramos said, “Jose looked at us, his eyes rolled up and blood began coming out his nose.”
Araujo died at the scene, leaving behind a young son. Weathers was apprehended by Officer Darryl Wilson, who found the suspect hiding in a stand of bushes and holding the gun.
“He was holding the barrel of a handgun and I told him to drop the weapon or I was going to shoot,” Wilson testified. “I had to tell him twice.”
He also said that as he took Weathers from the scene, the suspect muttered over and over, “It’s all messed up. It’s all messed up.”
Weathers faces up to 85 years in prison if convicted on charges of murder, criminal possession of a firearm, stealing a firearm and carrying a pistol without a permit.