A man suffering from a gunshot wound was found in a wooded area near a cemetery on Riverside Street in Portland.
Hartford police surround the area of 51 Bond St. Thursday night.
Riverside Street in Portland was closed while police investigated the shooting.
PORTLAND, CT (WFSB) -
A man has died after being kidnapped in Hartford at gunpoint, beaten, shot in the head and left for dead on the side of a road in Portland.
Two suspects called the victim, whom police identified as 26-year-old Christopher "TJ" Jefferson, and meet him on Bond Street in Hartford. Witnesses said that's when a gun was pulled and the three sped off.
"He wouldn't get in the car if he didn't know them," said friend Tammee Roophnath of Hartford. "He got in the car because he knew her."
According to witnesses, they saw Jefferson get into a black Mercedes C-class after a Hispanic woman with dark, curly hair lured Jefferson into the car and pulled a gun.
"I just seen him hop in the car," said friend and witness Jasmine Ortiz.
The driver of the vehicle was only described as a man.
"TJ was in the car," an unidentified witness told Channel 3 Eyewitness News. "They had a gun to his head."
After the car sped off, about an hour later, a driver in Portland made the gruesome discovery on Riverside Street near the Saint Mary's Cemetery. Jefferson was found unresponsive suffering from a single gunshot wound to the head, police said.
Jefferson was taken to Hartford Hospital where he was pronounced dead Friday morning.
The black Mercedes C-class, which was believed to be involved in the incident, was in custody of the Hartford Police Department.
Eyewitness News learned the Mercedes was found at Lakewood Village in Waterbury by police, where they also executed a search warrant on a condo.
As detectives from Hartford, Portland and the Connecticut State Police continue to investigate, loved ones visited a make-shift memorial on Bond Street Friday where candles and messages were left.
Friends said they don't know why someone would target him, but feel Jefferson knew his kidnappers because he got into the car willingly before the gun was pulled.
"He's a good person," Roophnath said. "Even when you were mad, he still made you happy."
No arrests were made by early Friday evening, but T.J.'s friends have a message for those responsible.
"God's watching, God knows," Roophnath said. "I hope they can't sleep after what they did to my brother.'"
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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