3 shootings mar New Year’s Day in Hartford

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Neither the cold nor the holiday could stop the violence in Hartford on Monday.

Three shootings took place on New Year’s Day in the state capital. One of them was an accident, while the other two are under investigation, rattling the north end neighborhood.

Larry Slopes heard the shots.

“Bang, bang and that was it,” Slopes said. “…When you live in a neighborhood like this, you don’t come outside. When you hear stuff like that, you might get shot too.”

Neighbors were talking about the first shooting of the new year at 12:06 a.m. on Winchester Street. Some didn’t mind revealing their identities, but others wanted to stay anonymous.

“I just heard the shots and then I just laid down on the floor,” the man said.

Police say the victim was taken to Saint Francis Hospital where a bullet was removed from his back. He is known to police and has been shot multiple times before, and has been identified as both as a victim and as a suspect in other cases.

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Just a couple of blocks over and a few hours later, another shooting took place. A man was taken to the same hospital after he was shot in the face. One man who didn’t want to be identified couldn’t believe people would be out shooting up the neighborhood on New Year’s Day.

“It was New Year’s [Day], and I’m thinking, like, ‘Yo, can’t they at least, you know what I’m saying, take a break for a holiday?’ But no they didn’t,” he said.

Major crime detectives are not taking a day off either. With the holiday, they say they are right out there investigating and they have several good leads they’re following up on.

There was also a third shooting in a separate part of the city, and police say that was actually an accidental shooting. Authorities towed a car on Hudson Street after they say the driver shot himself in the knee while trying to store his firearm. It accidentally went off, and he was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Monday was a busy day for police, and a neighborhood remains on edge.

“I just closed my eyes and went to sleep, that is the best I could do,” explained Slopes. “That is the best I could do. I wasn’t dead so…”

The man who accidentally shot himself in the knee did have a legal permit for the gun.