Waterbury police seek man following shooting of 2-year-old child

Waterbury police searching for man after 2-year-old child shot
Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 3:06 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 22, 2022 at 1:22 PM EDT
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WATERBURY, CT (WFSB) – A 2-year-old was transported to the hospital after being shot in Waterbury, police said.

Police said the child is still recovering after being taken to Connecticut Children’s in Hartford by LifeStar.

They held a news conference at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday to announce an update:

Waterbury police scheduled a news conference for 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

Police said they are looking for Kharis Samuels in connection with the incident.

Kharis Samuels
Kharis Samuels(WFSB / Waterbury police)

They said he was showing a gun at the home when it went off.

Police are searching for Kharis Samuels in connection to the shooting.
Police are searching for Kharis Samuels in connection to the shooting.(Waterbury Police Department)

Samuels could face charges of first-degree assault, illegal discharge of a firearm, illegal transfer of a pistol/revolver, criminal use of a weapon, illegal of possessions of a weapons in a motor vehicle, and three counts of risk of injury to a child.

Police said Samuels has ties in New York and Florida.

They warn he’s considered armed and dangerous, saying he still has the gun that hurt the victim.

The police chief said this is the latest shooting in a violent year for the Brass City.

Police are still piecing together what led up to a two-year-old being shot at a home on Pinecrest Drive.

Thanks to DNA and other evidence gathered, they tied it to Samuels.

“Samuels was friends with another male party that was inside the house, he was invited there. He was there to socialize with that particular party that lives in the house,” said Waterbury Police Chief Fernando Spagnolo.

Two other children were inside the home.

“There’s been a significant increase in gun violence here in Waterbury. When I talk to my counterparts in Hartford, Bridgeport, New Haven, we see the same, hear the same from them,” Spagnolo said.

From January 1 to June 22, police say there have been 145 shots fired incidents.

There were 65 last year in the same time period.

So far this year, there have been 44 shooting victims.

Last year in this time period there were only 20.

“We’re not sure exactly what occurred to the shot being fired but we’ll get to the bottom of it,” Spagnolo said.

Spagnolo said this is the first shooting on Pinecrest in his 29-year career.

It’s put neighbors there on edge.

“Once you hear a gun involved it’s fearful being in such a wonderful neighborhood. It’s terrible and it is fearful. But we hope for the best,” said a neighbor.

Samuels does not have prior criminal history in Waterbury.

Spagnolo said he is wanted on an active robbery warrant for an incident in Bristol last year.

Police have also seized more guns off the streets, taking 106 so far this year, compared to 92 at this point last year.

The child was shot in the abdomen, police said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Waterbury Police Detective Bureau at 203-574-6941 or the Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at 203-755-1234.

Stay with Eyewitness News for updates.

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