Police Nab 'Extremely Violent' Suspect in Pastor Shooting - NECN


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Police Nab 'Extremely Violent' Suspect in Pastor Shooting

Police Arrest Man Accused of Shooting Hartford Pastor

Hartford police have captured the man accused of shooting a pastor who was putting out flags for Memorial Day, then shooting another man less than 15 minutes later. (Published Friday, Sept. 4, 2015)

Hartford police have captured the man accused of shooting a pastor who was putting out flags for Memorial Day, then shooting another man less than 15 minutes later.

It comes hours after the police department announced a $5,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.

Aaron J. Taylor, 25, of Windsor, was wanted on charges of attempted murder and assault. Police described him as having "extremely violent tendencies" and said they believe he fled to New York and then Georgia after the shooting.

After tracking Taylor in Atlanta, Georgia and New York, police learned Thursday he had returned to Connecticut and that he was in East Hartford. The Hartford Shooting Task Force, Hartford Fugitive Task Force, Special Task Force, a Manchester officer, a state trooper, East Hartford police, U.S. marshals, Hartford vice and narcotics officers, Department of Corrections officials, Homeland Security and the FBI all helped in the capture of Taylor.

After pinpointing Taylor's location to an East Hartford home, those agencies, including the FBI Northern CT Violent Gang Task Force, surrounded 22H Jaidee Drive in East Hartford. While the people they found at the apartment initially resisted, authorities were able to overtake them and find Taylor on the second floor. They took him into custody after a short-lasted struggle.

State police also arrested Lanatrica Terry, 38, who lives at the home, on charges of hindering prosecution, interfering with police and three counts of risk of injury to a minor.

They saw two large revolvers in plain sight near him, according to police. Police secured a search warrant and scoured the residence for evidence.

Police seized a black Nissan Maxima at the home, which they think Taylor may have been seen driving after the shootings of a paster and another man.

Taylor was wanted on two arrest warrants. He is suspected of shooting Rev. Dr. Augustus Sealy, 54, of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, outside the First Church of the Nazarene at 932 Capital Avenue in Hartford the morning of Sunday, May 24.

The pastor was putting out flags for Memorial Day services on his fifth anniversary at the church, according to police. Sealy was shot twice in the right leg and once in the left shoulder. 

Sealy's wife said Thursday he is "progressing nicely."

Police believe Taylor then shot Robert Jones, 27, of Hartford, at least six times at 398 Garden Street. An ambulance brought Jones to the emergency room at Saint Francis Hospital, where he was later listed in serious, but stable condition.

Police charged him with criminal attempt to commit murder and first-degree assault in both shootings.

Taylor is a felon previously convicted of weapons and violence charges, according to police. He is also being investigated in connection to crimes in other jurisdictions, though police have not released information on the nature of those suspected crimes or the towns they occurred in.

Surveillance video of Taylor buying a Red Bull at a Hartford convenience store helped police identify him as a suspect in the two shootings.

Police said the motive for both crimes is unclear. Investigators previously said that they are looking into whether the shooting of the pastor might have been a hate crime.

"I can tell you we do hear from residents that the church is very accepting and open to the LGBT community," Hartford police spokesman Deputy Chief Brian Foley said after the shooting. "So there were some statements made at the scene that certainly keep the idea of it being a hate crime open to our investigators."

Taylor was held on $1.35 million bond and was due in court on Friday. It's not clear if he has an attorney or if anyone has been granted the $5,000 reward.

The collaboration between agencies is key to solving the capital city's crimes, according to Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra.

"This needs to be a regional effort and not just the Hartford focused effort theres a lot of fluidity between both victims as well as perpetrators so we need to expand the effort to other jurisidictions that are currently not part of the shooting task force to become more engaged," Segarra said.