Courtesy of New Haven Police Department

Two people working in the basement of a vacant building discovered five high-power firearms hidden beneath the building’s floorboards on the afternoon of March 9, according to the New Haven Police Department.  

The weapons included one Hi-Point 9mm firearm, one 20 gauge sawed-off shotgun, one Bullpup rifle, one Mac 11 and one AK-47 rifle, according to a press release sent to the News by NHPD Spokesman Anthony Duff on March 13. In an interview with the News, Duff said that no ammunition was found with the weapons.

New Haven Police officers removed the weapons from the building and transported them to the NHPD headquarters, wrote Duff in the press release. According to the New Haven Independent, the weapons were found by a “crew of environmental contractors” who were removing environmental contaminants such as asbestos and and lead from the building.

The NHPD is still investigating to identify the owners of the weapons.

“Investigators typically check the weapon’s serial number as the first step in researching ownership.  If the weapon had ever been registered or listed as stolen, for example, it would be listed by serial number in a database,” Duff told the News in an interview

The building on 133 Hamilton Street where the weapons were found is currently vacant and under development, Duff wrote. Once home to the historical New Haven Clock Factory, the Wooster Square building — approximately one mile away from Old Campus —  was purchased on March 18 by Reed Realty, LLC for development into 130 affordable housing apartments. According to a filing with the Board of Alders, the developers have nearly all of the necessary funding in place to undertake the $40 million project.

According to The New Haven Clock Company Factory’s National Register for Historic Place Registration Form, the New Haven Clock Factory, which is comprised of ten interconnected brick buildings, was built between 1866 and 1937. At its peak in 1941, the factory employed 1,500 workers who produced 3,000,000 timepieces annually.

The weapons will be held for further investigation, Duff wrote. In the press release, he asked that anyone with information about the ownership of these weapons call the New Haven Police Department Detective Bureau.

Sammy Westfall | sammy.westfall@yale.edu