The New Haven Police Department is warning that teens are using paint-ball guns, facsimile firearms, and BB-guns in a “turf or gang conflicts.”
After several incidents involving paint-ball guns, facsimile firearms, and BB-gun, police in New Haven are warning residents to be careful with these items.
Police said they are warning residents that “dangerous situations with potentially tragic outcomes exist when responding police officers can’t quickly determine if the gun displayed is real or not.”
“We’re trying to avert a tragedy,” New Haven Police Assistant Chief Achilles Generoso said in a statement on Friday.
After a spike in gun related 911 calls, police said they determined it was gang conflict-related.
“These groups are targeting rivals in neighborhoods such as the Hill and Newhallville,” Intel Division Supervisor Karl Jacobson said in a statement on Friday. “This has got to stop before someone is seriously hurt or worse.”
Police said there were “added concerns” such as retaliation with real weapons as well as armed robberies and property crimes.
“We do not want to respond to any shooting but the tragic shooting of a young man, armed with a fake gun, by someone defending themselves against a misconceived threat of deadly force is a particularly disturbing thought,” police said in a statement on Friday.
A tragedy similar to that of Tamir Rice, the young boy shot dead by Ohio police while holding a BB gun that responding officers feared was the real thing.
“The effort to stop this is a top priority for our department,” Generoso said.
Police said this past week, there were several calls to police involving this gang conflict and there were reports of several injuries including one incident where a 10-year-old girl was shot in the head. Police said the girl was treated for her injuries and has been since released from the hospital.
The New Haven Police Department is asking for the public’s help with these incidents. Police are asking parents to " pay close attention to your teenager’s activity," especially if they believe they were "involved in such rivalries."
Anyone with any information is asked to call the New Haven Police Department at 203-946-6316 or at 203-0946-6304.
To see the pictures on your mobile device, click here.
Copyright 2016 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.