Hartford nightclub closed after second shooting death this month - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Hartford nightclub closed after second shooting death this month

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Hartford Police presence is already ramping up ahead of a busy Labor Day weekend Hartford Police presence is already ramping up ahead of a busy Labor Day weekend
This picture is from the scene where 21-year-old Miguel Delgado, of East Hartford was shot and killed. This picture is from the scene where 21-year-old Miguel Delgado, of East Hartford was shot and killed.
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Investigators said they have a suspect in the second downtown Hartford homicide in less than a month and the mayor announced a popular nightclub will remain closed until a new security plan can be put in place.

Hartford police were called to the area of Union Place and Allyn Street around 1 a.m. Friday after gunshots rang out in the area.

Police said it appears the shooting occurred after a disturbance that started inside the Up or on the Rocks and spilled out into the street as the nightclub was closing for the evening.

The victim has been identified as a 21-year-old Miguel Delgado, of East Hartford. Police said he was rushed to St. Francis Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

This is the second incident at the nightclub this month. Brian Simpe, 19, of Manchester was shot and killed outside the club Aug. 4; police have arrested a suspect in that murder.

Police said in both instances the club was hosting an underage night.

"The owner has agreed to a temporary shutdown of this club while we review all aspects of their security plans and make sure these incidents do not repeat," said Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra.

To that end, Segarra said he is sending out letters to many downtown clubs Friday.

"This might entail having requirements for such establishments in the future to have uniformed police officers within the establishment," Segarra said.

Another plan being discussed to stem the downtown violence is to in some way curb the "teen nights." The idea is underage patrons would be allowed to come to the clubs, but be in a juice bar in separate area. 

City leaders and businesses said they believe these events put a lot of immature people in a concentrated area late at night.

"Two shootings in less than 30 days is more than unsettling, our entire team is rattled by it," said the front desk manager at the neighboring Holiday Inn Express. "People are going to go elsewhere."

Stopping or stemming the teen nights could be the most difficult part of this plan. Segarra said there are state laws that allow the events, though he, the police chief, and city attorney plan to talk to legislators from the Hartford delegation to do something to change the laws.

While the shootings are not connected, police said the shootings are strikingly similar.

Segarra said in both incidents, the police were "not alerted to any incidents inside the club."

"I'm very upset about these incidents," Segarra said. "But more importantly, I'm very determined to take action to make sure they don't happen again."

Friday's shooting is the Hartford's 17th homicide, police said. 

Since Simpe was shot and killed, there has been a beefed up police presence in the downtown area.

There were two police sergeants and seven officers were in the downtown area when the shooting happened, according to investigators. All heard the gunshot, police said.

Several people have been questioned about the incident, officers were able to obtain cell phone footage of the incident and investigators searched surveillance footage from neighboring buildings.

"It is progressing rapidly," said Hartford police Lt. Brian Foley about the investigation. "We've identified the victim as being from East Hartford, and the suspect is from New Haven. The investigation is going very well."

Anyone with information is urged to call Hartford police at 860-757-4000 or the tip line at 860-722-TIPS (8477). All calls will be kept confidential.

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