Although the Yale Police Department announced that it arrested a man near campus shortly after the April 23 shooting on frat row, city police say they have no reason to believe he was responsible for that crime.
YPD Chief Ronnell Higgins said in an April 23 campuswide email two hours after the incident that the YPD arrested an individual with a gun near the High Street site of the shooting. But New Haven Police Department spokesman Joseph Avery said on Monday that there was no clear connection between the person arrested and the incident. The only information that Avery released about the suspect is that he is a 16-year-old who lives near the shooting victim, and that he was arrested for looking “suspicious.”
According to orange.patch.com, the teen arrested was connected to the robbery of three handguns around 11:30 p.m. on Friday — just hours before his arrest — from the store CT Firearms & Tactical. The male, whose name was withheld because of his age, was charged with third-degree burglary, three counts of theft of a firearm, fourth-degree larceny, first-degree criminal mischief and conspiracy to commit each of those charges.
The NHPD is handling the investigation of the shooting, and the YPD did not comment on the incident.
Still, police did have success in apprehending the alleged suspect responsible for another recent shooting near campus.
The NHPD arrested 21-year-old New Haven resident Emmanuel Payton for a April 25 double shooting on Derby Avenue, Avery said.
“The arrest of Emmanuel Payton in this double shooting is a great example of the community working with officers to bring a quick resolution and apprehension of an individual who was armed and clearly dangerous,” NHPD Chief Frank Limon said in a Tuesday press release.
The shooting, which occurred at approximately 4 p.m. at 59 Derby Ave., is four blocks from the Yale athletic fields, and on the route for the intramural bus.
Although both victims, Raymond Ball, 52, and Brian Rogers, 21, received nonfatal injuries, the quick arrest is a sign of improvement for the NHPD, which has struggled to close murder and shooting investigations. In an April 14 interview, Limon told the News that increasing the crime-solving rate of his department is one of his primary goals as a chief.
In addition to mandating more training for department detectives, Limon also recently announced a new assistant chief, John Velleca, to head all investigations.
Payton is a convicted felon, Avery said, and is currently on probation for firearms- and drug-related convictions. As of Tuesday, Payton was in police in custody in lieu of bond.
William Desmond ’12 said he saw one man lying on the ground near 59 Derby Ave. from the window of an intramural bus Monday around 4 p.m., when the shooting occurred. He could not see a shooter or a second victim on the scene, he said, adding that police and medical personnel were just arriving when he saw the man from the bus.
Avery was not able to release further details regarding the incident, citing the ongoing investigation.
Less than a day later, another shooting was reported only a block away, at the corner of Edgewood and Winthrop avenues. Witnesses reported to the NHPD seeing a black male in his 20s firing a handgun in the driveway of 332 Winthrop Ave., Avery said in a press release. One of the subjects reportedly fled the scene on a bicycle toward St. Raphael’s Hospital. Avery said that the police recovered shell casings, but that no injuries were reported.
Citywide shootings have seen no significant statistical increase this year, but New Haven has seen 13 murder victims since Jan. 1, matching 2009’s total, and on pace to exceed 2010’s 24 homicides.