Police arrested five suspects Thursday after a drive-by shooting and ensuing chase brought grief to the already somber Dwight neighborhood.
No one was injured as four or five shots hit a building and a parked car at the intersection of George and Day streets Thursday morning around 11:20. The suspects, driving a gold car, fled, and were later pursued by a Yale police officer, who recognized the car from a description broadcast over a police radio.
Officers chased the car to the Newhallville neighborhood, where the suspects’ car struck a New Haven police car near the Hamden town line. There, officers arrested four passengers in the car, while the driver tried to escape on foot. The driver was later caught and arrested as well. Investigating officers found narcotics, New Haven police spokeswoman Judith Mongillo said. The officer in the New Haven car was injured in the crash, but his injuries were not life-threatening.
Police charged all five suspects, Reggie Preston, 20, and Marcus Moye, Dominique O’Bryan, Easter Massey and Rodneisha Bryant, all 16, with possession of narcotics with intent to sell within 1,500 feet of a school, Mongillo said.
The shooting remains under investigation and additional charges are expected to be added, Mongillo said.
At the crime scene, four blocks east of Yale-New Haven Hospital, detectives examined a bullet hole near the front wheel of a gray Ford Tempo. Officers said they did not think the car was a target. They said they could not speculate on the shooting’s motive.
Nearby residents, whose neighborhood has been the scene of several shootings in recent months, said they were accustomed to the sound of gunshots. But in the wake of terrorist attacks on New York and Washington Tuesday, the violence brought particular distress.
Neighbors, who gathered at the scene minutes after the shots, were relieved no one had been hurt.
One woman, who had been talking on her cell phone in her car parked 10 feet in front of the Tempo, said she thought the shots were firecrackers. She did not realize the sound was gunfire until after she had entered a nearby beauty salon. She wore a hair net and ear coverings as police showed her the casing of a bullet that had landed inches from one of her tires.
Others at the scene spoke of similar near-misses.
A group of children had walked by minutes earlier. Another woman, who refused to give her name for fear of retribution, said she would have been standing at the corner waiting for a bus at the time of the shooting had she not decided to take the day off from work, still too disturbed by Tuesday’s events to go in.
“We’ve been shook enough in the last couple days. This adds fuel to the fire,” she said. “I have an eight-year-old granddaughter. I have to pull her off the bed onto the floor when I hear gunshots.”
“You see things on TV and they that’s a New York thing, a D.C. thing, and then you walk out the door and it happens here,” added the woman, as she walked back inside her house to watch coverage of the tragedies in New York.
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