A dead man was found near Yale-New Haven Hospital early Monday, causing panic throughout the hospital and confusion among city officials, who were focused on the continuing investigation in Sunday morning’s shoot-out on College Street.
A spokeswoman for the Connecticut Chief Medical Examiner’s Officeconfirmed the death but declined torelease the man’s name, saying that the family has not yet been contacted. She added that an autopsy would be completed today.
The status of the police investigation is unclear. Word of the death spread among hospital workers throughout the day, but no public announcement has been made by New Haven police, City Hall, local news organizations or the hospital.
Yale Police spokesman Lt. Steven Woznyk said in an e-mail that the incident was being investigated by the New Haven Police Department. Yale Assistant Police Chief Ronnell Higgins confirmed that hospital security had been called about a dead body.
But when asked about the incident, New Haven Police spokesman Joe Avery and City Hall spokeswoman Jessica Mayorga said they had not heard of a body being discovered.
NHPD Chief Frank Limon said Monday night that he had been notified early in the morning about some sort of incident, but he said he did not know the details. Limon said Monday had been a busy day for the NHPD.
“Most of our attention has been on Crown Street,” he said, referring to Sunday morning’s gunfight, which left two New Haven residents wounded with non-life-threatening injuries.
The body near the hospital was discovered around6:15 a.m. whenY-NH nurse Pauline Wilkesparked her car at 2 Howe St.and walked to the hospital, where she has worked for the last five years. To her left she saw a man lying in an alleyway next to the parking garage. She approached the man, who she and another hospital employee said was on his knees in a fetal position and slumped against a wall, and saw a large amount of blood around his head.
She called hospital security, who told her to immediately call 911 dispatchers, who, in turn, told her to remain at the scene until police arrived.
“It was just me and the body for about five minutes,” she said. “The police arrived quickly, but it seemed like a very long time.”
Wilkes said when New Haven police and medical officials arrived, they examined the man and informed her he was dead. The officers jotted down her initial statement and contact information and told her they would come find her in the hospital later in the day to discuss the incident further.Wilkes said they never did.
Hospital spokeswoman Myra Stanley declined to comment Monday evening. Vin Petrini, the hospital’s senior vice president for public affairs, said he did not know what happened because he was out-of-state.
Correction: Sept. 23, 1010
An earlier version of this article misreported that the Yale-New Haven Hospital nurse who found a dead body near the hospital Monday morning tried and failed to take the dead man’s pulse. The nurse inspected the body but did not touch it.