Police: man with sword shot and killed in Port Jeff

Police: man with sword shot and killed in Port Jeff

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Suffolk Police were on the scene Thursday, Oct. 3 after an alleged shooting at Port Jeff Liquors. Photo by David Luces

By David Luces and Kyle Barr

Suffolk County police said a man threatening a liquor store clerk with a sword was shot and killed in Port Jefferson last Thursday afternoon by a shop owner on East Main Street.

Police responded to a 911 call that came in at 2:23 p.m. Oct. 3 that a person at Port Jeff Liquors, located at 156 E. Main St., had shot and killed a man who had allegedly come into the shop “swinging a sword,” a police spokesperson said.

The man with the sword was pronounced dead at the scene. No other injuries were reported.

Police later identified the man as Theodore Scoville, 50. Accounts from security footage have largely verified the owner’s accounts of the situation to police, and the owner is not being charged.

Trustee Kathianne Snaden and Deputy Mayor Stan Loucks were at the scene shortly after the shooting and were updating both the public and media.

“His actions posed an eminent threat to the merchant, who, regrettably, was forced to shoot the individual in defense of himself,” Snaden wrote on Facebook after the incident Oct. 3.

Officials with the Port Jefferson School District said Oct. 4 that buses had just left from the high and middle schools after 2 p.m. when a call from the village came in about the incident. The buses were notified en route, which then avoided the area. 

Mayor Margot Garant wrote on Facebook that their hearts go out to shop owner and Port Jeff resident Steve Plunkette and his family, along with the family of the deceased.

“The tragic and abhorrent event that took place today in the Village of Port Jefferson was a rare and isolated event which in no way reflects the beautiful historic community that we truly are,” she wrote.

Fred Leute, the acting chief of code enforcement, said constables were on the scene shortly after the event. Leute said Scoville was known to frequent Port Jeff every two to three weeks on Thursdays, having a schedule of visiting the Port Jefferson Free Library when new magazines became available, or he would arrive when the weather was nice. The chief added the man had never presented a problem for constables previously.

The liquor store closed for a day but was back in business in the rest of the week. Groups of people came down throughout the weekend to show support to the business owner.

This post was updated Oct. 9 to add quotes from Fred Leute, the acting chief of code enforcement .

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