9 Shot, 1 Dead at Conn. Housing Complex | NECN
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9 Shot, 1 Dead at Conn. Housing Complex

(Published Thursday, June 11, 2015)

One man is dead and eight people are injured, including a woman who was in the shower, after shots rang out early Thursday morning at a housing complex in Bridgeport.

Bridgeport Police Chief Joseph L. Gaudett Jr. said at least two gunmen opened fire around 1 a.m. on a group of people in the parking lot at 468 Trumbull Avenue, in the Trumbull Gardens affordable housing complex.

Police have added patrols in the complex and said the reasons for the shooting are not yet clear, but officers are pursuing leads. 

The description of the shooters is vague, just that they are young men who were covered in hoodies, and police are asking for witnesses to come forward with tips.

When officers arrived, they found six men and three women who had been shot. The victims are between 27 and 59 years old and Gaudett identified the man killed as Savonnie McNeil, a 38-year-old father of three from Shelton.

Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch said the man killed was the nephew of a security officer.

Among the injured is the son of a school custodian was among the people shot, Finch said. Two of the other victims are sisters.

At least one stray bullet went through a wall, hitting a woman in the back as she was taking a shower in her apartment, police said. Police originally said the woman was elderly, but now said she was one of the older victims.

"Our hearts go out to the families of the victims who were involved in this terrible tragedy this morning," Finch said. "I know that we were all impacted very deeply here in the city. I came to work today to learn that one of our security guards' nephew was murdered. One of our school custodian's sons was shot. This is a very small and tight-knit community and when something like this happens, we all know someone involved."

Six of the victims, including McNeil, were taken to St. Vincent's Hospital and three others were taken to Bridgeport Hospital. The condition of the other victims is unknown.

Mayor Finch said he is "outraged" by the violence and called the shooting "senseless violence."

"We know there is always some motive behind this and I want to assure the public that the police are actively investigating. The community needs to cooperate as best they can," Finch said.

In response to the shooting, the mayor is expanding "Safe Corridors" to Trumbull Avenue. The initiative includes the installation of cameras and volunteers coming together help out to ensure children are safe on their way to school,

The mayor also called on parents across Bridgeport to bring their teen sons in and "talk them down, forget the guns, forget the revenge. Nothing good will come out of more violence," he said. 

"It's going to take the parents and the trusted figures in this community to counsel those particular youths that might be prone to violence to put the guns down and avoid more violence because it will solve nothing," Finch said.

Prior to this shooting, Bridgeport has had about the lowest crime rate it's had in 40 years, Finch said.

"We have made progress and we will take that progress and apply it to this incident to make sure this doesn't happen again," Finch said.

He asked anyone with information to contact Detective Ada Curet, the lead investigator, at 203-581-5236.

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