Police raid targets recent violence

Responding to recent violent activity, police served search and seizure warrants at two Newhallville residences Friday, according to a statement from New Haven Police Department spokesman Joe Avery.

The first residence raided, 569 Mill Rock Ave. in Hamden, was unoccupied at the time. There, police found numerous 9-mm bullets and a small amount of packaging material. At the second residence, 83/85 Sheffield Ave., police seized 24 bags of crack cocaine, about six grams total, from the target of the search, 26-year-old Barry Cunningham. Packaging material and $3,000, which police believe was profit from the sale of crack cocaine, were seized from Cunningham’s bedroom, and Cunningham was arrested.

Cunningham’s arrest comes less than three months after there was a series of seven murders, many of them execution-style, in the Dixwell and Newhallville neighborhoods, for which no one has been arrested. Following those homicides, police conducted a massive raid in the neighborhood in January, searching for information about the crimes.

At the time, police said the raid was productive and that there would be similar raids in the future. But police have yet to solve any of the murders. In total, there have been 11 gun-related homicides since October.

In addition, incoming NHPD Chief Frank Limon, who fought gang violence as chief of the Chicago Police Department’s organized crime division, said in February at the press conference announcing his appointment that he intends to target gun violence in New Haven.

Cunningham was the only man arrested during a violent weekend in New Haven in which three people were shot and a store was evacuated because of a bomb threat.

On Saturday at the Essex Town Houses on Quinnipiac Avenue, a man, Tavarus Slaughter, 27, was shot in his right buttocks at 2:43 a.m. during a double shooting. His cousin, Teral Slaughter, 48, was also shot, but in his left knee. On Sunday, Teral Slaughter was in stable condition at the hospital, and Tavarus Slaughter was in critical condition.

According to a release from Avery, police responded to the scene after an anonymous caller reported hearing about 10 gunshots. Police recovered seven 9-mm shell cases, and an anonymous resident said they saw a newer model four-door sedan driving away very quickly.

Saturday at 12:30 a.m., Angel Morales drove himself to Yale New-Haven Hospital after suffering a gunshot wound to the leg. His injuries are not life-threatening, and police have identified a possible scene of the shooting at Frank and Lines streets.

At 7:30 p.m. Friday, an unknown black male carrying a handgun approached a victim who had been playing basketball at the Celentano School on Goffe Street, and took his cell phone and a gold chain. The perpetrator then fled down Starr Street toward Winchester Avenue. He was wearing a green-hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans and white sneakers.

Police evacuated businesses around the Pocket Wireless Store at 128 Grand Ave. at 4:55p.m. Friday after a man placed a knapsack on the counter and told the clerk there was a bomb in it. After the subject demanded money, the clerk gave him about $150, and he fled on foot toward Grand Avenue. The bomb squad concluded that there was no explosive device in the knapsack. He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and a blue Yankees cap.

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