An unidentified man was shot one block from Benjamin Franklin and Pauli Murray colleges at the intersection of Winchester Avenue and Compton Street just after noon on Friday.
Witnesses who arrived on the scene shortly after the incident occurred said the man was driving a car and crashed into a barrier along the sidewalk before he was shot in the calf.
The victim was not a member of the Yale community and his injuries are not life threatening, according to an email from Yale Police Chief Ronnell Higgins. In the email, Higgins added that it did not appear the victim was targeted randomly.
One witness, who requested anonymity, said four gunshots rang out just moments after she heard the car strike the barrier. She added that, while crashes are common at the intersection, the neighborhood had not seen much gun violence since she moved there three years ago.
“You know what, this is a really nice neighborhood,” she said. “I really like this neighborhood. It’s so close to Yale … So I was kind of sad that had to happen.”
Kelli Albaitis, who lives two houses from the site of the shooting, was also surprised that the shooting happened so close to Yale and in broad daylight. She said that “this was the Yale section” of the neighborhood and that she was “on the good end of Winchester.”
Albaitis said she left her house after hearing a loud crash followed by several gunshots. She then walked to the intersection, where she saw the victim sitting with another man across the street from the wreck. The victim said he was the driver of the vehicle, according to Albaitis.
“[The victim] just kept saying, ‘He hit me, he shot me,’” Albaitis said.
Albaitis said the man had a bullet wound in his left calf, but that he was not bleeding badly from the wound. She added that he was also bleeding slightly from his head, possibly from hitting his head on the steering wheel during the crash or from hitting the pavement when exiting the vehicle.
She said she did not see who shot the man but that a red sedan quickly drove away from the scene down Compton Street shortly after the shots were fired. Albaitis said the sedan resembled a Toyota Camry and was fairly old and beaten-up, but that she only caught a glimpse of it before it sped away.
Albaitis said the man attending to the victim took his shirt off and tied it around the victim’s thigh to stop the bleeding. However, Albaitis, who has some medical training, said she went back to her house to retrieve gloves and a towel to help the victim because she was concerned the makeshift tourniquet would not do enough to help.
Ambulances arrived on scene about 10 minutes after the shots were fired, but New Haven Police Department officers and a fire truck arrived before then, according to Albaitis.
Pauli Murray and Benjamin Franklin colleges will begin housing students this fall.