Hartford police are searching for the man they say pulled the trigger in the parking lot of the Progressive Community Baptist Church on Acton Street Tuesday night.
The shotspotter system detected the gunfire at 5:47 p.m. Tuesday. One man was shot in the leg and the suspect took off, according to Deputy Chief Brian Foley.
The victim as transported to St. Francis Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, Deputy Chief Foley confirmed.
The men do not have ties to the church, but the shooting happened while others were heading in for bible study.
Pastor Tim McNeil was watching the church’s surveillance cameras when he heard gunfire in the parking lot.
"It’s appalling," Pastor McNeil said. "A guy pulls out a gun and starts to shoot right here looking at the church, knowing what the campus is and understanding where we are."
As the crime scene tape went up, churchgoers were turned away. Bible study and prayer hour was canceled so police could investigate.
"I mean when it comes to the point when you don’t have respect for a church and just come through a neighborhood where people find solace in a place, it’s just awful," churchgoer Revonda Goines said.
While the congregation is in disbelief, they hope the surveillance video can help police catch the suspect. They also plan on meeting with city officials in the coming weeks to discuss how they can make the church more secure.
"No matter if it’s a crime scene or not, we’re not going anywhere," churchgoer BJ Stewart said.
"We’re here and we’re going to be here and we’re here to help. If people are going to try and bring it down, we’re going to help pick it up."