Danbury police investigating death of 18-year-old
Updated 3:35 pm, Friday, August 11, 2017
DANBURY — As police investigate the death of 18-year-old Gabe Bardo, family members are taking comfort that Bardo, an organ donor, has saved several lives.
Jeff Bardo, Gabe’s father, said Wednesday doctors used his son’s organs to save the lives of eight people.
Gabe was found unconscious next to his car around 6 p.m. Saturday on Abbott Street, police said. The windshield of his car had been smashed in — from the outside — but Gabe didn’t show any external injuries, his father said. Gabe was pronounced dead on Monday.
Doctors have told family members Gabe had bleeding in his brain and could have suffered from an aneurism, but officials with the state Medical Examiner’s Office said Wednesday determining his cause of death will require further investigation.
Jeff Bardo said his son was kind and gentle and rarely got into trouble.
“Gabe loved talking to people,” his father said. “Most people just listen and wait for their turn to speak, but Gabe truly would listen to you and digest what you were saying. His upbringing was untraditional but he was a good kid.”
Gabe briefly attended Danbury High School before enrolling in the city’s Alternative Center for Excellence, a high school program for students who perform better in a non-traditional setting.
“He was really intelligent and was in the gifted program for a while,” Bardo said. “He was continuing his education outside of the ACE center and was just beginning to hit his stride. He told me he really wanted to learn.”
Gabe taught himself the guitar, an interest he pursued as young child and continued into his teenage years.
“He loved music and was big into guitars,” Bardo said. “He took a couple of lessons when he was a kid, but he basically taught himself how to play.”
After recently being sold a “lemon” of a car, Bardo said his son initially attempted to resell the vehicle, only to change his mind after talking to a potential buyer.
“After the guy left, Gabe told me he didn’t want to do to someone else what someone had done to him,” Bardo said. “For some reason, that really touched me. I’ve had my own troubles in life, but here is this kid of mine who always wants to do the right thing. That’s just the kind of guy that Gabe was.”
Friends of Gabe reached out through Facebook to express their sorrow.
“Another good one gone too soon, Rest In Peace Gabe Bardo,” Victoria Rose Flanagan posted on the social media site. “Thanks for all the laughs and shirt checks.”
“You will be missed so much Gabe Bardo,” wrote Micheal Flores on Facebook. “We love you. Hope you shine bright in the sky now that you have joined the stars at night.”
Police ask those with information to call the anonymous Tips Line at 203-790-8477.