This weekend, the New Haven Police Department responded to two violent incidents near popular downtown night clubs, mere blocks away from central campus. At least one person has died.
A fight broke out at the Center Street Lounge at 2 a.m. Sunday as employees were clearing out and locking its doors, according to media reports. Police were called to the area — the intersection of Chapel and Orange streets — on a report of gunfire, NHPD Spokesman and Officer Joe Avery said, just one day after responding to suspected stabbings at another club the night before. When police arrived, Avery said, they found a 26-year-old New Haven man, who later died from his injuries at a nearby hospital, and a 25-year-old Stamford, Conn. man, who was non-fatally shot in the leg.
Three students interviewed who claimed to have heard the altercation from campus said there were around a dozen shots fired in quick succession. Avery did not confirm the number of shots fired at the scene.
“I was woken up by gunshots, which is something I’m not accustomed to,” said Nathaniel Granor ’09, who lives on the corner of Chapel and Church streets. “When I finally got up and looked out the window, there was a body on the sidewalk.”
Granor said the police arrived within minutes and admitted he was “relieved that it wasn’t just a random shooting of pedestrians.”
The night before, police responded to a report of a “large fight” at Hammer Jaks at 201 Crown St., Avery said. London Hobson, 21, and Chazz McCarter, 20, of New Haven and Kennedy Johnson, 20, of New Rochelle, N.Y., suffered non-fatal stab wounds, Avery said. McCarter and Johnson were treated and released at the hospital, Avery said, and Hobson was admitted to the hospital.
But the violent night raged on.
While officers were continuing their investigation, Avery said, an altercation broke out at Yale-New Haven Hospital in which a man, who was stabbed in the shoulder, assaulted another man upon leaving the hospital.
Both venues — Center Street Lounge and Hammer Jaks — are patronized by Yale students and sometimes even booked as venues for events held by student groups and residential colleges.
Most recently, Sigma Alpha Epsilon held its bi-annual “Crush Party” at Hammer Jaks on Saturday night, one day after the incident. When asked if he would think about the shooting when he walked by Center Street, Granor laughed and, describing the faint blotches on the sidewalk, said he would not be walking near there anytime soon.
“[The passersby] don’t know what it is. But I do.”