July murder suspect arrested

homicide

The suspect of a local July 3 homicide has been arrested, ending a months-long investigation and bringing justice to the victim’s family.

At a somber press conference held on Friday afternoon, New Haven Police Chief Dean Esserman announced that officers had apprehended Jahmal Fulcher, a 19-year-old New Haven resident, after obtaining an arrest warrant for the murder of 23-year-old Brian Gibson, also of New Haven. This summer, Gibson was found shot outside 85 South Genessee St., in front of the McConaughy Terrace public housing complex. After Gibson succumbed to his injuries at Yale-New Haven Hospital, authorities launched what would prove to be a lengthy investigation to track down his killer.

“We grieve with [the victim’s family],” Esserman said. “The New Haven Police Department will always show the dignity and respect that this family is due for losing this young man. We hope, today, we have brought justice to this family, and allowed them to breathe for a moment in their grieving process.”

Various members of the victim’s family stood behind Esserman as he spoke during the press conference, which was held at the New Haven Police Department’s main office on Union Avenue. They held back tears throughout the conference, and Esserman embraced them once he had finished speaking.

Also in attendance were various NHPD authorities, including Assistant Chief Achilles Generoso, who provided details about how the police department made the arrest.

“Very early in this investigation, our detectives developed a suspect,” Generoso said. “They’ve been working diligently since that time to gather the information that allowed [NHPD officers] to obtain an arrest warrant.”

Generoso said that the local community was of great assistance to the police’s investigation before making a special point to thank the state’s forensic lab, which Generoso said provided evidence analysis that helped the NHPD track down the suspect.

The key NHPD officers on the case were Detective Mike Wuchek — the case officer for this investigation — and Sgts. Al Vazquez and Tony Reyes, according to Generoso.

The assistant chief acknowledged that this investigation took longer than usual to complete, but said that the police department’s persistence helped to finally close the case.

“We, as the New Haven Police Department, are not going to let up on these investigations,” Generoso said. “Some take longer than others. This one took us a few months to solve … but we’re going to continue to work on these cases and bring these people to justice.”

The victim’s brother, Michael Johnson, then took the podium to speak on behalf of his family, expressing their lasting grief more than four months after Gibson was shot. He said Gibson’s smile was one of the things that he and his family will miss the most.

Esserman closed the conference by speaking to the unity with which he hopes the city of New Haven — both its citizens and leaders — will come together to properly honor the families of victims like Gibson.

“I just want to remind this community that we’ve lost another young son,” Esserman said. “As his family grieves, so does this city. We bring justice to this family today, which is really just a small step in their terrible loss.”

Fulcher will turn 20 years old on Nov. 24.

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