Person of interest identified in Meriden double stabbing - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Person of interest identified in Meriden double stabbing

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A community is rallying together to support the families of two teenagers who were stabbed, one fatally, on Friday night. And now, Meriden police said they have identified person of interest and are currently interviewing that person.

Police in Meriden said Deandre Felton, 15, was found on Kensington Avenue on Friday night suffering from multiple stab wounds. DeShawn Jones, an eighth-grade student, is still in the intensive care unit at Hartford Hospital Monday night after being stabbed in the neck, stomach and back, according to his family.

Felton, who was a student at Maloney High School, and the other teen were stabbed outside the Meriden Mall, near Mid-State Hospital, according to police. Witnesses told police the incident began as a fight and ended with the two teens being stabbed.

There are also security cameras in the area near where it took place, but it was unclear if anything was spotted by those cameras.

Officers are talking to a person of interest and the individual is cooperating with the investigation, according to police. The investigation continues with detectives working alongside the New Haven State's Attorney's office.

The teen who survived, who friends said is a student at Washington Middle School, is reported to be in stable condition.

"Nobody deserves to die that young," said Grace Rich, who is a friend of the victims. "It was wrong for anyone to stab him. He's such a good person. He shouldn't have died."

Felton tried to get help and ran toward the hospital before he died.

"He's just always smiling," said Sophia Dingle, who is a friend of the victims. "I don't understand why anyone would want to stab him."

Felton, who didn't start the school year on time, was suspended from Washington Middle School. However, he was never expelled from the school, according to his family.

The Meriden Raiders Football and Cheer League will host friends and family at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Columbus Park on Lewis Avenue.

"We lost a family member, so we decided to come together and hold a fundraiser to collect money and the family out," Tappin said. "So he can have a decent burial."

Felton's family is expected to speak along with others at the vigil and hundreds are expected to attend the event.

"He was a jokester. He was fun-loving kid," Tappin said. "He loved to smile joke around. So, he was a good kid."

The death of Felton is now Meriden's sixth homicide of 2012, which is more than the past five years combined.

"It's a shame, I can't believe what's going on," said Richard James of Meriden.

On Sunday night, hundreds of community members held a candlelight vigil for Felton at Washington Park where he used to play youth football.

"It took a gasp out of me," said Felton's oldest brother, Gary. "It was hard to believe. Hard to fathom. How did this happen?"

Last month, two men were gunned down while walking along Olive Street, and earlier in the summer, a convenience store owner was shot and killed during a robbery.

"It's scary living on this street where two people got shot and knowing a good friend got stabbed," said Stephanie Kesilewski, who is a senior at Maloney High School. "And the violence in Meriden really needs to stop because as soon as I graduate I want to get out of here.  I don't want to live here anymore."

Meriden police said that even though there have been several homicides, the crime rate is actually down and the high-profile killings are out of the norm. In 2012, there have been six murders where in 2011 and 2010, there were no homicides.

"These stats are the kinds of things you see in much larger communities," James said. "And the fact it's happening here is of great concern to everyone. People are changing, some are afraid to walk the streets, we don't know what to do."

The increased amount of violence in the city has caused residents to change their recreational habits.

"I used to ride my bike around but you don't even feel safe anymore," said Julian Lopez.

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