Yale Daily News

Three weeks after New Haven Police Captain Anthony Campbell ’95 DIV ’09 and Mayor Toni Harp stood at a podium at the police headquarters and announced that city crime is on the decline, New Haven is seeing an uptick in shootings. This past week alone, New Haven has seen five shootings — including two with youth victims. The victims include a 19-year-old male, a 20-year-old-male, an 18-year-old female, a 16-year-old male and a 29-year-old male.

At the Jan. 18 press conference at the New Haven Police Department’s headquarters, Campbell emphasized that youth shootings have become less common over the years, noting that while in 2014 there were 14 youth shooting victims aged 18 and below, 2018 saw only five. However, this week alone, there were two.

“I think it’s time for city officials to stop giving themselves the proverbial pat on the back for crime reduction and instead actually turn their self-serving narratives into action steps to make our community safe,” New Haven activist Barbara Fair told the News in response to the teenage victim shootings.

Since the start of 2019, there have been 11 nonfatal shootings, one self-inflicted shooting and one fatal shooting, New Haven Police Captain Anthony Duff told the News. When asked whether any of the victims had died from their wounds, Duff said that everyone shot this month has survived.

Last year, Elm City saw 50 nonfatal shooting victims and 10 homicides. In 2017, the city saw 61 nonfatal shooting victims and 7 homicides.

On Tuesday, Feb. 5, at 6:52 p.m. a 29-year-old male was shot and suffered a wound to his hand that was not life-threatening. According to Duff, a New Haven police sergeant reported hearing gunfire in the area of Sherman Avenue, between Whalley Avenue and Goffe Street. A ShotSpotter activation and calls to police led officers to the location of the gunfire and a gunshot victim. The victim was transported to the hospital. Officers and detectives secured the crime scene.

Less than half an hour later, Shotspotter was activated again. Two more gunshot victims were found outside on Shelton Avenue in the Newhallville neighborhood. One victim, a 19-year-old male, suffered a nonlife-threatening gunshot wound to the ankle and was transported to the hospital. The other victim, a 20-year-old male, was found to have been shot several times and suffered life-threatening injuries to the thighs and abdomen. The 20-year-old was transported to the hospital, where he remains in critical but stable condition.

Officers and detectives secured a crime scene at the Shelton Avenue location. Investigators have not determined if the two shooting incidents are related, according to a NHPD press release.

At 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 6, an 18-year-old female was shot at the 1300 block of State Street. She suffered a gunshot wound to the leg that was not life-threatening.

And at 1:09 p.m. on Feb. 10, a 16-year-old male was shot in the foot on Quinnipiac Avenue, between Essex and Foxon streets. In a press release, Duff said the teenage victim was transported to the hospital, suffering nonlife-threatening wounds, as officers secured the crime scene.

Fair noted the inconsistency between the recent shootings and the chief’s and mayor’s “crime is down” narrative.

At the same Jan. 18 press conference, Harp emphasized how, compared to her first time as mayor, when “gun violence [was] all too common at the time,” she was now standing before the city to describe “a much-improved New Haven, a much safer New Haven, a city much better equipped to quash the scourge of gun violence.”

“It’s about investing in our most precious jewels, our children,” Fair told the News. “It’s about addressing the core factors that breed crime and violence. It’s about working to upgrade the quality of life for all residents, not simply a select few.”

Over the last decade, New Haven saw the most shootings in 2008, with 159 total nonfatal shooting victims.

Sammy Westfall | sammy.westfall@yale.edu