One of three College Street gunmen still at large

Bullets litter the street in the wake of Sunday morning's shooting.
Bullets litter the street in the wake of Sunday morning's shooting. Photo by Victor Kang.

Police are still searching for a gunman they say fired at police officers on College Street early Sunday morning.

As clubs on Crown Street were closing at about 2 a.m., three men got into a shootout near the intersection of Crown and College streets, one block from Old Campus, New Haven Police Chief Frank Limon said in an interview. When nearby police officers responded, one of the gunmen shot at the them; police returned fire, but the shooter fled and has not been caught, Limon said.

He added that the other two gunmen were hit by gunfire, though police have yet to determine whether they were shot in the original gun battle or by police as they returned fire. Police are interviewing the two wounded gunmen and other witnesses to gather an accurate description of the wanted man, Limon said.

Both wounded men were transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven Police Lieutenant Joe Witkowski said early Sunday morning. City Hall Spokeswoman Jessica Mayorga said they sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

Mayorga said three police officers fired during the shootout. Though Limon said the investigation is ongoing, from the account he has received, he said he thinks the officers’ shooting was justified.

“In my experience, when you have officers in uniform and shots are fired, they are trying to protect themselves and protect others in the area,” he said.

Limon said the downtown entertainment district was fully staffed when the incident occurred Sunday, with 12 officers and one supervisor on duty.

“You can only do so much,” Limon added.

Ward 7 Alderwoman Frances “Bitsie” Clark, in whose ward the shootout occurred, said she is “horrified” by the incident and that it is a “call to assembly.”

Clark said she has been working with local bar and club owners to redress the amount of violence in the city’s downtown nightlife district. She said Mayor John DeStefano Jr.’s current proposal to add a specially trained police detail to district is a good one, and that Sunday’s shootout is an impetus to find a solution.

“I don’t believe that you stop having an entertainment district — it’s very good for our economic development — but we certainly have to do something to prevent this from happening again,” Clark said.

Esther Zuckerman contributed reporting.

Comments

  • theantiyale

    Do other Ivy-League campuses have a drug and prostitute section as close to campus as Yale? I know Cornell and Dartmouth first-hand and the answer is No. Harvard:Maybe. Princeton: No. Columbia: Surely. Stanford: No knowledge.

    Thirty-four years ago when I went to YDS and lived near Patricia’s Restaurant (across from Payne Whitney Gym), people would try to sell me cocaine in broad daylight on a Sunday morning on the sidewalk.

    Gunfights? Not that I recall. But a Yale student was knifed and left to die on the front steps of the RCC Church (St. Mary’s) three doors away from the Yale president’s house on Hillhouse Avenue.

    New Haven is crime ridden. Yale is a lure.

  • grl8r

    While this is not good for the city or for Yale, people make it seem that this – as with other incidence – are random acts of violence. Often drug dealers are shooting drug dealers, at Gotham two people with guns got into a fight with each other, and here police disrupted a gun fight in progress between two groups of thugs. While people could get caught in the crossfire, they very rarely due. You are generally save downtown all hours of the day and night if you yourself are not a thug or hang out with thugs.

    I have lived downtown for many years and have NEVER seen drug deals or prostitutes. What happened 30-years ago, though relevant, was a long time ago.

    theantivy: Harvard: no, Brown: yes, Columbia: yes – Stanford is NOT an Ivy!

  • Sara

    theantiyale, Harvard is statistically far more dangerous. It is in a much bigger, anonymous city with more random crime.

    A shootout in a massive, bustling entertainment district with tens of thousands of visitors every day and 10,000 restaurant seats, like Crown Street, shouldn’t be a surprise – similar events happen in all big cities with that number of people crowding into them.

    Do the math per capita and, unless you are one of the dealers or prostitutes, you’re far more likely to get struck by lightning than to get injured in a busy downtown district.

  • Yalie

    Some strange justifications here: “…unless you are one of the dealers or prostitutes, you’re far more likely to get struck by lightning…” and “You are generally safe downtown all hours of the day and night if you yourself are not a thug or hang out with thugs…”

    Isn’t the problem grounded in the fact that we have dealers, prostitutes and thugs in the first place? And that we can’t seem to address the issues that give rise to them – a problem of strategy – or police them effectively – a problem of tactics?

  • theantiyale

    @grl8r:

    My point was not statistical analysis: It was contiguity (contiguousness?) with campus.
    The drug and prostitute sections of town practically TOUCH campus at several points.

    OOPS! Forgot Brown and promoted Stanford!

    What part of downtown do you live in? Let me take you to upper Elm Street or Howe. So forget 30 years ago: You had THIRTEEN murders in New Haven durting the school year LAST YEAR.

    Rose colored glasses?

    PK

    [link text][1]

    [1]: http://theantiyale.blogspot.com “Salivating for Burgers”

  • pablum
  • amandab847

    theantiyale,

    What does “Ivy League” have to do with your point?

    Ivy League towns shouldn’t have crime? Yale should have evacuated/fixed/cordoned-off from New Haven long ago? Yale’s part of a larger post-industrial, poverty- crime- and drug-ridden problem? Swell, keep us guessing; but as a Dartmouth grad and Yale long-timer, I’m embarrassed that it was only Ivy League tit-for-tat that seemed to drive your post, and that moved me to reply.

  • Sara

    Antiyale,

    San Francisco had 100 murders, and that’s not including hundreds more right across the bay in Oakland, etc. The Boston area has had hundreds too. What’s your point? As a standard-defined metro area, New Haven is one of the safest cities in the country. Every city has a few pockets of social pathology; New Haven’s happen to be very small in relation to the city’s size overall.

    Go to Dartmouth or Cornell if you want to get away from the feeling of an urban area (even Dartmouth and Cornell have had their share of violent murders and robberies, but they may “feel” safer because the density is so much lower).

  • pablum

    @Sara:

    The per capita murder rate in New Haven is much higher than New York or Boston. New Haven has a tiny metro area when compared to New York or Boston.

  • Anonymous Bosh

    Sara wrote: “Harvard is statistically far more dangerous. It is in a much bigger, anonymous city with more random crime .1″

    What?! Surely you jest… Have you BEEN to Cambridge? It is the super-touchy-feely lib oasis (recently implementing “soft boots” for parking violators, because those nasty hard boots made cars feel bad–and, no, [I am not making this up][1]).

    The [comparative stats are in the other thread on this topic][2], indicating that Cambridge (AND Boston) are much safer than New Haven.

    And for a REAL eye-opener, check out the crime scene at [Boston College!][3]

    Even inner-city Boston’s [most notorious neighborhood][4] appears to have a lower crime density than does 2010 New Haven.

    1. I will grant you this: Crime in Cambridge may indeed be “more random”: why? Because there are targets, at least for, say, robbery, *other* than relatively affluent, liberally dotty kollidge kidz upon which to prey. Under those circumstances, robbery may indeed happen to someone *other* than a Cantab, whereas Yalensians might as well be sporting neon “kick me” sweatpants.

    [1]: http://www.wickedlocal.com/cambridge/news/x863083344/Cambridge-art-project-turns-your-parking-tickets-into-poetry
    [2]: http://www.yaledailynews.com/news/2010/sep/20/no-campus-wide-e-mail-about-shoot-out/#c39601
    [3]: http://spotcrime.com/ma/newton
    [4]: http://spotcrime.com/ma/boston/mattapan

  • theantiyale

    @ amadab847,

    I grew up 10 miles from Yale. My grandmother lived two blocks from Yale in a third-floor walk-up ghetto apartment with no hot water at State and Elm streets. I have lived in Ithaca for five years and now live five minutes from Hanover as I have for the last 20 years. I am interested (in a VERY PERSONAL WAY) in how Yale’s affluence irritates the poor of New Haven.

    @ sara,

    My point has nothing to do with statistics. It is anecdotal. I was mugged twice as a Yale student, once at gunpoint. I was an apartment superintendent for an 88-unit low income housing project one block from Yale’s Payne Whitney Gym during my four years at the Divinity School. A 90-year old woman tenant of mine was mugged in broad daylight. Another tenant was stabbed by his wife and left blood all over my lobby walls. (He survived.)

    I was exposed to muggings, drug deals, a prostitute with AIDS plying her wares one block from my apartment and homeless people, including a 60-year-old woman who defecated in my courtyard in front of 40 tenants’ windows on a freezing winter day leaning on a park-bench in the snow because she had no-where else to perform that act. She was pushing her belongings in a grocery cart. This was within spitting distance of the Yale Co-op (now Borders or some such) on Broadway while preppies drove by in their BMW’s.

    Kindly don’t “what’s your point” me with your bloodless statistics until you have walked in my (and my dead grandmother’s) shoes.

    Paul Keane
    M.Div.’80

    [link text][1]

    [1]: http://theantiyale.blogspot.com “Salivating the Burger”

  • blah

    i used to enjoy the dialogue between yale students, alums, and the new haven community on the YDN comment boards. however, it seems that perhaps 80% of the comment boards are dominated by Paul Keane, who certainly has interesting things to say about some things, but has essentially become a troll who weighs in about EVERYTHING.

    he should realize that as someone who earned a 1- or 2-year degree about 2 miles from the main campus, he will inevitably be a bit out of touch with many current issues on campus that would be better left to people with more recent and direct experience, and more knowledge of the facts. otherwise his opinions basically amount to the kind of ideological generalities that we see enough of on FOX and MSNBC. PK–use your head and use some restraint. Give others a chance to influence the discussions. unfortunately i imagine this plea will fall on deaf ears.

  • theantiyale

    ***I DARE YALE TO CENSOR ME.***

    Blah calls me a two-year transient on Holy Hill:

    I was born in Yale-New Haven Hospital ( Grace-New Haven). My grandmother lived two blocks from Yale the first 16 years of my life in a a third-floor ghetto walk-up with no hot water. After ten years in Ithaca and Kent for undergraduate (Ithaca College) and graduate degrees (Kent State) I returned to New Haven for 12 years from 1973-85.

    Yes: I took my degree on Holy Hill, but I LIVED one block from Broadway and ate in Sillliman. My courses extended from 1976-80. I created Sterling Library’s *Kent State Collection* with the author Peter Davies in its Manuscripts and Archives Division and the Yale Political Union’s five-day *Colloquium on Kent State* to commemorate the opening of that Collection.

    I remained at Yale for four years thereafter, dragging Yale onto *60* *Minutes* (Feb. 84) kicking and screaming over the Yale President’s refusal to expose the FIRST DOCUMENTED AMERICAN ***heterosexual connection to AIDS*** in the form of a Howe St. prostitute who had passed AIDS on to her infant in the womb and whose baby never left Yale -New Haven Hospital.

    I spent four months researching the disappearance of Yale Divinity student Sam Todd, who has never been found. My report to the President’s office was published in *Connecticut Magazine*, Spring ’85 under the title “Fugitive from God, Country and Yale: The Disappearance of Sam Todd.” You can read it (if you care to bore yourself any further with my FOX/MSNBC banalities) at http://yaledisappearance.blogspot.com
    [link text][1]

    I was not paid for either of these projects which Yale considered both an annoyance and an embarrassment, and which cost me two years of my life and hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

    My pamphlet *A.I.D.S. (AIDS Information Dissemination Service)* was pusblished at my own expense and distributed to 5000 Yale students over the OBJECTION of the then prissily Puritanical Yale Health Service (because it DARED to described the sexual practices related to transmission of AIDS in detail and DARED TO POSIT HETEROSEXUAL TRANSMISSION of AIDS, then denied by most Americans).

    That distribution to Yale students occurred through the President’s Office’s intercession which over-ruled the Health Service when I threatened to reveal to the press Yale’s obstruction of timely health information to its own *in loco parentis* students in the face of the possible threat of heterosexual transmission two blocks from Yale.

    I grew up in the shadow of Yale. **Yale blocked a lot of *light and much truth* from my childhood and later from my young adulthood at the Divinity School.**

    I consider these posts an EXORCISM.

    Paul D, Keane

    M.Div. ’80

    M.A. (Middelbury ’97)

    M.Ed. (Kent State ’72)

    [1]: http://yale.disappearance.blogspot.com “Fugitive from God, Country and Yale”
    [2]: http://yaledisappearance.blogspot.com “Fugitive from God, Country and Yale”

  • theantiyale

    ***PS
    If you don’t like my posting , skip it. No one forces your eyes past the first word except yourself and your own control-freak desire to be Super-monitor. Until your Yale/New Haven resume exceeds mine,
    kindly refrain from suggesting I am a New Haven transient who brings nothing to the table of free speech.***

  • grl8r

    @antiyale:
    I was speaking primarily of DOWNTOWN. Upper Elm and half of Howe Streets are in Dixwell NOT Downtown. I’m sure you are right about DIXWELL.

  • sigh

    @PK

    *AIDS Information DIS-semination Service*?????

    Wow