Sammy Westfall

New Haven saw two shooting cases on Friday, one in the afternoon and one in the evening.

On Friday afternoon, the New Haven Police Department responded to a shooting incident with an 18-year-old victim. The boy was in a parked vehicle on Cave Street near Winchester Avenue when he was shot, according to an NHPD press release. The release said that the resident suffered nonlife-threatening gunshot wounds to the leg and was transported to the hospital. Officers and detectives secured several crime scenes, according to the press release.

New Haven Police Chief Anthony Campbell ’95 DIV ’09 said at a Jan. 18 press conference that youth shooting victims have decreased in the past few years.

“There was a time, I’m sad to say, that many of the homicide victims or significantly shot victims were very young,” Campbell said.

At 11:15 p.m. that same evening, an Elm City resident was shot while working as a pizza delivery driver for a local restaurant. City police officers responded to the incident at the intersection of Ferry Street and Clay Street in Fair Haven — according to a Jan. 26 New Haven Police Department press release.

Officers secured the crime scene, which included the pizza delivery motor vehicle. New Haven Police Captain Anthony Duff sent an update to the News on Monday, in which he identified the victim as 54-year-old Hernando Pezo.

When the officers arrived on the scene, they found Pezo suffering from a life-threatening gunshot wound. Pezo was transported by ambulance to the hospital, where he remains in critical condition. On Monday, according to the NHPD update, Pezo still remained hospitalized in critical but stable condition. Duff told the News that city detectives have been in contact with Pezo’s nearest relative in Peru.

The New Haven Police Department Major Crimes Unit is investigating the shooting, according to Duff. The Jan. 26 press release requested that anyone with information call the New Haven Police Department Detective Bureau.

Duff did not respond to the News about further specifics of the case.

In 2014, there were 14 shooting victims aged 18 and below. In 2018, there were five. And last year, New Haven saw a total of 50 nonfatal shooting victims. In addition, there were a total of 10 homicides last year.

But the Elm City has seen a reduction in nonfatal shooting cases over the decade. From 2003–06 New Haven saw an average of 111.5 nonfatal shooting victims, while between 2007–10 the average was 147.5. From 2011–14 the average nonfatal shooting rate decreased to 87.75 and then further decreased in 2015–18 to 60.25.

The total number of violent crimes — consisting of homicides, felony sexual assault, robbery, assault with firearm and aggravated assault — was 912 cases in 2018.

Sammy Westfall | sammy.westfall@yale.edu