City | 3:47 pm | March 17, 2012 | By James Lu

City records first 2012 homicide

The first homicide of the year occurred in the Dixwell neighborhood near the intersection of County and Munson Streets.
The first homicide of the year occurred in the Dixwell neighborhood near the intersection of County and Munson Streets. Photo by James Lu.

After more than two months without a homicide, New Haven registered its first murder of the year Saturday morning.

Shortly after 9:40 a.m. Saturday, New Haven Police Department officers found a deceased “black male, suspected to be in his late teens to early 20s” in a silver Range Rover near the intersection of County and Munson Streets in Dixwell, according to department spokesman David Hartman. The man had been shot and was pronounced dead at the scene by NHPD officers and the New Haven Fire Department’s Emergency Medical Services, who had responded to an earlier report from the location.

Hartman said the NHPD received no reports of gunshots in the area overnight, and detectives believe the homicide occurred some time after 3 a.m. Saturday. The victim has been taken to the Chief Medical Examiner’s office, where an autopsy will be performed. The results of the autopsy will be reported on Monday, Hartman said.

While the identity of the victim has not been confirmed, detectives are “confident he was not randomly targeted, but was rather the intended victim,” Hartman added. The NHPD’s Major Crimes Unit, led by Lt. Julie Johnson, is in the early stages of its investigation into the homicide, collecting forensic evidence and conducting interviews in the area.

By this time last year, the city had already recorded six homicides — en route to a 20-year high 34 murders. While violent crime is down around 20 percent citywide so far this year, Hartman stressed that crime statistics rarely give an insightful look into the city’s crime situation and can fluctuate rapidly.

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