July 25th, 2012 | City

NHPD thanks public for speedy homicide arrest

Donald Bradley, 58, was shot and killed outside a Burger King drive-thru at 169 Whalley Ave. Monday night.
Donald Bradley, 58, was shot and killed outside a Burger King drive-thru at 169 Whalley Ave. Monday night. Photo by Google Maps.

After the New Haven Police Department made a quick arrest in the city’s 10th homicide of the year, police officials hailed what they called the success of the department’s renewed emphasis on community policing.

Police said three teenagers outside the Burger King drive-thru on Whalley Avenue called Donald Bradley for a ride to Fair Haven, according to the New Haven Independent. When Bradley arrived, he recognized one of the teens as someone with whom he had previously fought and asked him to leave, prompting an argument that led to the teen shooting Bradley five times. The teens fled before police arrived, but witnesses told police that two of the teens entered a house on Orchard Street, the Independent reported. 

Officials said family members of the teens helped police arrest the shooter and another of the teens within two hours of the shooting, the Independent reported. With the help of relatives of the two teens, police convinced the pair to exit the house where they were arrested. One was charged with murder, and both with police interference. 

Bradley, meanwhile, was rushed to the Hospital of Saint Raphael, where doctors pronounced the 58-year-old dead. The third teen turned himself in Tuesday afternoon, and police said he was being treated as a witness.

At a press conference Tuesday afternoon, police officials thanked the public — both witnesses and the family members of the teens involved — for their help in quickly solving the homicide. A major goal of the NHPD’s community policing strategy has been to build trust between the department and New Haven residents, and police pointed to the speed with which Monday’s homicide was solved as a sign of the department’s success.

Nearly a year ago New Haven recorded its 20th homicide of 2011, putting the city on track for a two-decade high of 34 homicides for the year.