Man, 24, arrested in ‘brazen’ Bridgeport shooting

George Padilla of Bridgeport was charged with criminal attempt at murder Thursday. (Photo: Bridgeport police)

We just received this press release from Bridgeport police.

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) — Police arrested a suspect hours after a daylight shooting that happened shortly before noon today.

George Padilla, 24, of Bridgeport, was taken into custody this evening and arrested on counts including criminal attempt at murder.

He currently is being booked at police headquarters.

“This was a brazen shooting that happened in broad daylight,” said Capt. James Viadero. “Through cooperation from the community and great detective work, we were able to apprehend the suspect quickly.”

A handgun has been recovered and will be examined to determine if it was the weapon used in the shooting.

The shooting happened at approximately 11:30 a.m. near the corner of Beechwood Avenue and Norman Street. The victim, William Merrero, 29, of Bridgeport, was shot multiple times, including in the face and torso.

He remains in critical but stable condition.

“This was outstanding work by detectives,” said Mayor Bill Finch. “Within six hours of this shooting, police had a suspect identified and quickly in custody.”

According to Viadero, detectives received a short statement from the victim, canvassed the area for witnesses and were able to locate video from security systems at local stores that provided valuable leads.

Police developed a possible suspect and went to a location where investigators believed he was staying.

Lt. Chris LaMaine and Detective Ada Curet went to the location and interviewed Padilla’s girlfriend. They were speaking with her when Padilla knocked at the door.

Police opened the door and apprehended Padilla after a brief struggle.

The shooting victim suffered serious injuries but medical staff at Saint Vincent’s Medical Center reported he is expected to recover from his injuries.

After the arrest, police searched the apartment and recovered a handgun.

The incident remains under investigation but preliminary information indicates that the shooting may have stemmed from an altercation last night involving a group associated with the victim and a group associated with the suspect.

Detectives are working to determine whether this morning’s encounter between the two men was by chance or design.

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