Gunfight breaks out on College Street

A three-way gunfight erupted between two men and police on the intersection of College and Crown streets around 2 a.m. Sunday morning as nearby bars were letting out, police and witnesses said.

The two men, who police say started the fight, sustained gunshot wounds and were transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven Police Lieutenant Joe Witkowski said. Hospital spokesman Mark D’Antonio could not immediately be reached for comment Sunday morning.

New Haven and Yale police officers cordoned off a large section of College Street Sunday morning after a shootout at the intersection with Crown Street.
Egidio DiBenedetto, Contributing Photographer
New Haven and Yale police officers cordoned off a large section of College Street Sunday morning after a shootout at the intersection with Crown Street.

Witkowski said he could not say how many shots were fired or give descriptions of the men at the crime scene. Six witnesses at the scene said they heard between 10 and 20 shots fired in quick succession.

Witkowski said the trouble started when the two men began shooting in front of Cooperative Arts and Humanities High School. Nearby police officers patrolling New Haven’s late-night club scene responded to the gunfire. One of the men then aimed his gun at the approaching police and fired, drawing return fire from the officers, Witkowski added.

He could not say whether the wounds the two men sustained were from each other’s firearms or from those of the police. He also could not say whether the two individuals had been charged with any crime. No police officers sustained injuries.

By 2:20 a.m., both New Haven and Yale police officers were on the scene and had cordoned off a large section of College Street, from Crown Street to George Street.

Two other men said they had heard the shots half a block away at Anchor Bar and Restaurant on College Street. Immediately following the noise, they saw a mass of people running away from the gunfire, adding they had seen gunshot holes in buildings on both sides of College Street, including Cooperative Arts High School.

“Kids are going to go to school Monday with the windows all shot up,” said New Haven resident Andrew Gullans, 35, one of the men who had been at Anchor.

The Crown Street area is no stranger to gun violence. On Aug. 14, police found Javier Cosme, 21, of Bridgeport, dead from a gunshot wound in a parking lot near the Gotham Citi nightclub on Crown Street around 3:40 a.m. Less than 12 hours after the body was found, police arrested three suspects for the killing.

Less than three weeks ago, Mayor John DeStefano Jr. proposed to create a police detail to patrol the city’s downtown nightlife scene. City Hall officials said the $800,000 detail would consist of about 10 officers and one sergeant.

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