A five-year veteran of the New Haven Police Department fired one shot at a suspect while investigating an early Sunday morning robbery in the Elm City.
Officer Leonardo Soto fired at the suspect only after the man fired at him, investigators said.
According to police, at close to midnight, Soto was patrolling Van Dome Nightclub and was alerted to an armed robbery in the area. Two victims told police they were robbed by two men with handguns, and said the men fled on foot down Hamilton Street toward Grand Avenue.
Police said the officer then drove after the suspects, who jumped into a waiting car. The officer drew his weapon and told the suspects to exit the car. The suspects, who were later identified as 23-year-old Darryl Giles and 22-year-old Robert Stanton, then drove at the officer and crashed their car into the officer's patrol car.
The suspect passenger got out of the car, brandishing a handgun and fired a single shot at the officer. The officer returned a single shot at the gunman. Neither the perpetrator nor the officer was struck.
Police said the suspect then got back in the car and fled toward Walnut Street before crashing into a utility pole.
One of the occupants was apprehended as he fled from the damaged vehicle on Wallace Street.
Yale University police officers apprehended the second suspect in the area of Orange and Humphrey streets.
The robbery victims identified Giles and Stanton who were apprehended as those who had robbed them.
Officers located several items, including the victims' two cell phones and a wrist watch. They had been thrown from the fleeing car. Police were able to recover one of the guns the suspects used and a search is underway for the second.
Police arrested Giles and Stanton, both of New Haven. They have been charged with first-degree armed robbery and attempted assault on an officer.
Since Soto discharged his weapon, the New Haven Police Department Shoot Team is investigating the incident.
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