Police say a resident contacted them around 7:45 a.m. on Monday morning to report that his vehicle was stolen while it was warming up in the driveway.
According to officials, the same resident called just before 9:30 a.m. to report that he found his vehicle on Maple Avenue and had fired a gunshot.
Authorities say the resident confronted the alleged thief who was still in the vehicle. The accused allegedly pointed a firearm at the resident, at which point the the attorney for the car owner, Deron Freeman, had a legal gun of his own, pulled it out, and shot the driver in the head.
“He feels horrible, this is one of the worst days of his life,” Freeman said.
The suspect fled the scene, and a short time later, police received a call regarding a gunshot victim on South Street. Officers located and transported the suspect to a hospital for treatment of a non-life threatening gunshot wound to the cheek and jaw.
Officials say the suspect is a 17-year-old from New Britain with an already active arrest warrant for auto theft charges.
“I just saw our auto theft detective upstairs,” explained Hartford Police Deputy Chief Brian Foley. “I said, ‘Brandon, do you know this kid?’ He is like, ‘Yeah, we just chased him two weeks ago he fled from police and ditch the car in Government Park and got away.'”
Officials say the juvenile admitted to pointing a gun at the vehicle’s owner.
Police are still investigating the incident, but believe the car’s owner acted in self defense.
However, Freeman says self-defense is a slippery slope.
“Self defense in Connecticut is a difficult statute, difficult standard of proof, and so I prepared my client that we may not walk out of here today from the Hartford Police Department,” he explained.
The stolen vehicle has been recovered with a broken window.