Ten shootings left two men dead and eight others injured in an ugly weekend of gun violence that erupted suddenly across the city.
The shootings claimed the life of an unidentified 16-year-old male from Windsor on Saturday night and 24-year-old Michael Bailey Jr. early Saturday morning.
Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra will meet with Acting Police Chief James Rovella Monday morning to discuss the shootings and the city's response. It is not clear whether any of the shootings are related.
"I'm hoping that this was just a bad weekend," Segarra said Sunday night. "We have been working very hard to get this issue of shooting and violence under control."
"We are going to go and do our best to investigate each of the shootings that has occurred. There is work that government and the police department can do, but it works a hell of a lot better when we have the community on board and they assist us with the effort," Segarra said.
There have been nearly 50 shootings in the city this year. Before this weekend's violence, homicides in Hartford were down about 65 percent compared to 2011. For the past year, Rovella has served as the head of a highly regarded shooting task force that has sought to reduce gun violence in Hartford.
"This could be your brother, your sister or your parents," Segarra said. "There is the potential for innocent bystanders who could be in the line of fire."
Bailey, the first fatality of the weekend, was found in a parking lot at 99 Ashley St. at 2:15 a.m. Saturday suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center.
Earlier, at 12:50 a.m. Saturday, two victims of a South End shooting were taken to Hartford Hospital. The victims, attacked near the corner of Franklin and Bond streets, had non life-threatening injuries. A third shooting victim from the altercation showed up at the hospital hours later.
Meanwhile, at about the same time early Saturday, police responded to a report of two men shot at 170 Capen St. The men were standing in front of a food truck when they were shot. Both men were shot in the leg and their injuries were not considered life-threatening.
Shortly after 2 a.m. Saturday, police responded to reports of a shooting on Garden Street. Officers found a man who said he was shot in the back earlier in the night at the Sportsmen's Athletic Club at 2976 Main St. He was taken to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries.
On Sunday night, Hartford police asked for the public's help in investigating the fatal shooting of the 16-year-old male from Windsor. The teenager was found unresponsive in the driveway of a multifamily home on Thomaston Street at about 11:30 p.m. Saturday. The young man, who has not been publicly identified, was shot at least once and pronounced dead at St. Francis Hospital early Sunday.
Less than an hour later, police said, they were notified of another shooting in the area of 1846 Main St.
A man was found about 12:24 a.m. and taken by ambulance to a hospital with a gunshot wound to his right shoulder, Sgt. Steve Kessler said. The man was uncooperative with officers and changed his story several times, Kessler said.
The final reported shooting of the violent weekend occurred just after 1 a.m. Sunday in the parking lot behind the Sangria Bar and Grill at 900 New Britain Ave. Witnesses told police there had been a fight in the bar that spilled outside. Blood and .20-caliber shell casings were found outside the bar, police said.
A man, who police said was the victim, arrived at a hospital with gunshot wounds to his left hip and leg, Kessler said. In an interview with police, he said that he did not see who fired the gun and did not believe he was the intended target, Kessler said.
"It's critical to stress that we need the community to be a partner," said Jared Kupiec, chief of staff for Segarra. "If they have any information, no matter how small, about any of this weekend's incidents, we ask them to come forward to work with us to bring those who committed these crimes to justice."
To report information about the shootings, contact the police department's major crime division at 860-757-4089. Anonymous callers may contact the Crime Stoppers Tipline at 860-722-TIPS.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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