State police investigate after Hartford officer shoots suspect - WFSB 3 Connecticut

State police investigate after Hartford officer shoots suspect


Connecticut State Police have taken over the investigation into a late-night shooting in Hartford where police said an officer shot a person believed to be a suspect in a violent stabbing.

The shooting took place on Heath Street near Park Street around 10 p.m.

According to Hartford police, an officer responded to a report of an assault. When police arrived, they found a violent, bloody scene where one person had been stabbed.

Officers discovered a trail of blood that led to the suspect's apartment where police found a man holding a knife.

Two officers ordered him to drop the weapon, but then the suspect "advanced and lunged at the officer in a threatening manner," police said.

The unidentified Hartford officer shot the suspect. The suspect was taken to St. Francis Hospital, where the suspect was pronounced dead.

"It's awful, awful, awful," said Jackie Rosa of Hartford. "I wish it all would just stop!"

The stabbing victim and the two officers were taken to area hospitals where they were treated and released.

The incident took place in the busy Parkville neighborhood. The owner of a bakery nearby said everyone is keeping an eye out for each other, and the stabbing that brought police out was unusual.

"I know a lot of people in the neighborhood. Nine out of 10 come in here for breakfast," Maria Nascimento said. "They talk. This was not a random thing. This was (people) that knew each other, and I was shocked when I came in at 3 a.m. and I saw the officers."

After the recent string of violence in the city, the people of Parkville, near the scene of the most recent violence are hoping for change.

"This is the issue I have with the Hartford police," Nascimento said. "They take away the walking beat and it makes a difference when they see a presence of a walking beat in the city of Hartford."

Other folks said the crime will stop with an added police presence.

"I know they do the best they can, but they need more officers out," Rosa said.

"(We) will be giving the Heath Street neighborhood extra attention this weekend and in the coming weeks to maintain an open line of communication with the community in an effort to assist in the healing process," said Hartford police Lt. Brian Foley.

The officers involved in the incident were Richard Cotto and Johnny Muinz. However, police did not say which officer shot the suspect.

Cotto and Muinz, who both have four and half years of experience on the police force, have been assigned to administrative duty.

The name of the suspect has not been until notification of next of kin.

An autopsy will be conducted on the suspect by the Office of the Chief States Medical Examiner where cause and manner of death will be determined.

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