City | 7:17 pm | October 11, 2011 | By James Lu

Police make arrest in year’s 26th murder

With the Elm City well into its deadliest year since the early 1990s, the New Haven Police Department announced Tuesday it had made an arrest in the 26th murder case of 2011.

Kmel Davis, 19, turned himself in without incident Monday in relation to the Oct. 1 murder of Melvin Galloway, 31, NHPD Lt. Julie Johnson said in a press release. Davis, who is being held on $2 million bail, is charged with murder, first-degree assault, carrying a pistol without a permit, reckless endangerment in the first degree and unlawful discharge of a firearm.

Police officers responded to a report of a shooting at 153 Clay St. midnight Oct. 1. There, they found Galloway, who was pronounced dead at the scene, and Demetrius Wilkes, 20, suffering from gunshot wounds to his legs and torso. Wilkes was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital and Johnson said his wounds were not life threatening.

NHPD subsequently launched a Major Crimes Unit investigation into Galloway’s death, headed by Detective Nicole Natale. With the “crucial” help of neighbors and other witnesses, Davis was identified as a suspect, Johnson told the New Haven Independent. Natale secured an arrest warrant for Davis Monday, and Davis turned himself in the same day.

“With the excellent work of detectives, patrol officers, and most importantly – community involvement, we have made numerous arrests on homicide cases this year,” Johnson said in a Tuesday e-mail to the News. “We will continue this hard work, hoping to bring some closure to the victim’s families and look forward to contining the collaboration with the community.”

NHPD Assistant Chief John Velleca told the New Haven Independent his department has cleared 17 of the year’s 26 homicides and arrested five others in connection to “cold cases” from the past decade.

Still, New Haven’s yearly murder count is already two higher this year than last, when there were 24 homicides.

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