Fatal shooting spree continues

With multiple gunshot wounds in his left arm and wrist, New Haven resident Jayson Roman, 27, ran three blocks from Edgewood Avenue to St. Raphael’s Hospital on Chapel Street last Saturday. After reaching the hospital just before 4 a.m., he told the staff his friend had also been shot and was in a nearby car, unable to move.

When the New Haven police found the car, a beige Lexus crashed into a fence four blocks down Edgewood Avenue from Pierson College, Roman’s friend, Shawn Alexander, 33,was slumped in the driver’s seat, the engine still running. He was dead from multiple gunshot wounds, at least one of which was to the head, NHPD spokesman Joe Avery said.

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It was the third fatal shooting during the first week of spring break and the city’s sixth homicide of the year. The spring break shootings were the second string of brutal murders that have occurred since October and left a dozen dead.

All 12 cases are still under investigation. Avery said the most recent three are not the result of gang violence and there is no connection between them.

“There’s no gang warfare going on,” Avery said.

Violence in the city is usually the product of juveniles shooting, robbing each other and doing “stupid stuff” such as picking petty fights or committing small-scale robberies, he said.

But these murders are unusual: The youngest victim was 33 years old, nearly all the victims of the shootings were ex-convicts, and the murders happened in areas known for drug activity. Avery said fatal violence is seldom related to gang activities.

Alexander and Roman were both released early last year after serving at least three years each in prison on drug charges. Three days before Alexander’s murder, resident Jeffrey Jones, 43, was shot at close range in the Hill neighborhood. Jones too had a criminal record and was convicted of second degree assault two years ago.

And on March 7, New Haven resident Andre Jackson, 39, was gunned down in the Dwight neighborhood after being chased down the street, according to police. Jackson’s criminal record includes several felony gun and narcotics charges.

Following the spree of seven homicides between October and January, community leaders said the murders were being caused by the release of felons back into the city, a theory police would not confirm then and deny now.

Since January fatal gun violence has shifted from the north of the city to the south. The first string of murders hit the Dixwell and Newhallville neighborhoods. Now the Hill and Dwight neighborhoods are taking the brunt.

The March 9 murder in the Hill took place on Rosette Street, an area Sgt. Rich Miller identified as one of the hotbeds of gang activity in his Hill South policing district. The Dwight murders on March 7 and 13 took place in what has historically been one of concentrated gang activity, according to NHPD gang detectives.

New Haven’s incoming police chief, Frank Limon, who will take charge on April 5, has said he will make reducing the city’s gun violence a priority. Mayor John DeStefano Jr. said Limon’s gang expertise was one of the principal reasons he was hired.

Limon oversaw the Chicago Police Department’s Organized Crime Division and specifically targeted drug gangs, including one operation in which 55 gang members were arrested.

Comments

  • YC12

    Well this is a bit too close for comfort. Should have gone to Princeton.

  • alum interviewer

    Not the kind of headlines we like to see as top students are about to decide which college to attend from among those which have admitted them.

    Lets hope the new chief clamps down hard during Bulldog Days

  • Tanner

    This will build character for all the future Washington Social Engineers, your not gonna get that kinda education in Princeton, Ithica or Hanover. And face it Brown is on the outskirts and Cambridge ain’t Boston. Only Yale and Columbia “inner” city schools.

  • Amazing

    Anybody care about the victims or their families? I’m sure this sucks even more for them than it does for Yale’s recruiting…

  • Heartless Ivy

    Didn’t you realize nothing is as important as Yale and the elite beings who dwell within it’s ivory towers?

  • alum DC

    Tanner –

    Columbia, Harvard, Princeton, Cornell, Dartmouth, Brown are all in locations that are basically glorified gated subdivisions for the rich. You couldn’t get more boring if you tried. If you want to go to a college that replicates the social experience of Winnetka or Palos Verdes Estates, go to one of these.

    By contrast, New Haven is one of the only places left in the United States, that has a top university but is still a place where people of different social classes talk to and see one another.

    In terms of shootings, keep them in perspective. These are largely interpersonal disputes and unlikely to impact a Yale student or a resident of New Haven who is not involved in drug or illegal activity.

    A student at a place like Yale, Berkeley or Chicago (among the only other elite colleges still located within real communities) is at least 100 times more likely to be killed in a car crash.

  • To #6 alum DC

    Surely you are joking.

    Columbia, Harvard and Brown located in “gated subdivisions for the rich”?

    Here are the cities you mention, ranked by the 2005 violent crime rate on the FBI 1-10 scale:

    New Haven (124,791) 8
    Providence (173,618) 7
    Chicago (2,836,658) 7
    Boston (559,054) 7
    New York (8,274,537) 6
    Berkeley (100,744) 6
    Cambridge (100,135) 5

    http://www.bestplaces.net/crime/?city1=50606000&city2=50952000

  • Elmas

    “nearly all the victims of the shootings were ex-convicts, and the murders happened in areas known for drug activity.” Yeah, that’s unusual.

  • newhavensucks

    Are you serious?

    “But these murders are unusual: The youngest victim was 33 years old, nearly all the victims of the shootings were ex-convicts, and the murders happened in areas known for drug activity. Avery said fatal violence is seldom related to gang activities.”

    I’m assuming the writer and the NHPD spokesperson were being sarcastic.

  • EMPTINESS

    A graduate student at Dartmouth decapitated his friend a few years ago.

    Ithaca has had three suicides in the last two months at Cornell, two off the same gorge’s bridges, one day apart.

    It is AMERICA and the EMPTINESS of competition that is the problem.

    PK