At approximately 2 a.m. early Saturday morning, shots were fired near the intersection of High and Crown streets, according to a press release from City Hall spokeswoman Jessica Mayorga. One man — a non-student — was injured.
Although the shooting did not occur on campus, more than 100 Yale undergraduates live in off-campus housing located within a block of the shooting. Many more Yale students were in the area early Saturday morning attending parties at apartments and fraternities located along High Street, less than a block away from on-campus properties.
Based on an initial investigation, police said they believe the victim was an innocent bystander who was shot as a nearby robbery attempt went awry. The suspect approached a male from Bridgeport and tried to rob him, Mayorga said. The male from Bridgeport fled, and the suspect fired a handgun, aiming for the man he was trying to rob.
Police said he missed and hit the unintended victim, whom the New Haven Register identified as 28-year-old Nelson Caro. According to the press release, the victim — who is neither a student nor someone affiliated with the University — was shot in the leg. The injury was not life threatening.
Just two of the 13 students interviewed who live in the area said the incident would make them more hesitant to walk around at night. The rest said the incident did not make them feel any less safe.
“At the time I was a little freaked out,” Bradford Williams ’10 said, “but stuff happens.”
“I thought it was kind of a typical thing in New Haven,” Stephen Sherrill ’09 added.
One Yale student witnessed the shooting — at least another two heard the shots. A Yale senior who was walking back to his room on High Street at the time of the shooting said he saw a man in a car yelling profanity out the window. Someone got out of the passenger side of the car, he said, and started shooting. The senior said he ducked into an alley and watched as the car sped off.
“The amazing thing to me is that the cops were there within 20 seconds and the guy still got away,” Tyler Guse ’09, who saw the scene from his apartment, said.
By 2:30 a.m., roughly half an hour after the shooting, High Street was unusually quiet for a weekend evening. The street was closed to cars, as yellow crime-scene tape was draped across High Street by Crown Street and halfway down the block.
The incident near campus was not the only shooting that occurred in the city Friday night. Less than half an hour after the High Street shooting, a New Haven resident in his early 20s was fatally shot near Water and Brown streets, Mayorga said.
It was the city’s first homicide of 2009.
The suspect in the second incident fled the scene in a dark-colored vehicle.
Police are asking that anyone with information about either of these two incidents contact the New Haven Police Department.