New Haven saw its 22nd murder of the year when a man was stabbed at a house party in Westville on Nov. 21. The following day, the city was ranked eighteenth in the CQ Press annual list of the most dangerous cities in America.
The homicide brings the murder toll far above 2009’s year-end total of 12 and is approaching 2008’s total of 23. In addition to the murder, six separate incidents of gunfire plagued the Elm City in the past two weeks. Four of the shootings left victims with non-life-threatening injuries, said New Haven Police Department Spokesman Joe Avery in several e-mails. The other two shootings sent downtown crowds running early Sunday Nov. 21 when the area’s nightclubs let out. Mayor John DeStefano Jr.’s and Police Chief Frank Limon have said thatt his type of late-night downtown violence is precisely what the city’s Operation Nightlife was intended to relieve. .
New Haven Police Department officers responded to the emergency room at St. Raphael’s Hopsital at 12:10 a.m. Nov. 21 to find Josiah J. Alexander, 23, suffering from multiple stab wounds to the chest, Avery said in an e-mail. Alexander later died from his injuries.
Detectives from the NHPD’s Major Crimes Unit located several witnesses to the murder and found and secured a crime scene at 15 Westerleigh Road in Westville, Avery said. Detectives then determined that a suspect in the crime, Daniel Petrillo, 21, resided at the house where the stabbing took place and that Petrillo was armed with a handgun.
The SWAT team deployed and successfully apprehended Petrillo later that day, and he was taken into custody and charged with murder, Avery said. He added that the murder appeared to be related to an argument between the two men at a party at Petrillo’s home. The investigation is still ongoing.
Approximately an hour and a half after NHPD officers responded to Alexander at the hospital, many others were called to downtown in response to two separate shootings, Avery said. The first, which occurred near the intersection of Church and Center streets was reported at 1:41 a.m., and the second occurred a block away by the Green soon after, he added.
Although multiple shots were reported in public areas, nobody was caught and no evidence was collected, Avery said.
Exactly one week later, at 1:41 a.m. Sunday Nov. 28, 19 year-old Javon Hailey suffered a gunshot wound in his leg at the site of the previous week’s shooting, Avery said. He added that the victim reported that he saw people running as we was leaving Center St. Lounge, heard a gunshot, and then realized he had been struck.
The other three shootings in the past week occurred at a McDonalds in Fair Haven, 320 Edgewood nine blocks from Pierson College, and 312 Davenport six blocks from Yale-New Haven Hospital, Avery said in multiple press releases.