HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - An overnight shooting in Hartford left a 16-year-old boy dead.
It happened on Martin Street around 1 a.m. Monday.
The victim's family and police identified him as Wildemar Santiago, a freshman at Weaver High School.
Police called it a targeted shooting.
Santiago was walking on the sidewalk at the time. His family said he was there visiting a vigil for his friend, Juan Garcia, who was shot and killed in a car last month.
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Officers tried to perform life-saving measures at the scene. However, he was rushed to St. Francis Hospital where he later died.
The victim's family briefly spoke to Channel 3 later in the morning.
"We need to do better. We need to do better," said Karolina Pagan, the victim's aunt. "These young kids are not getting to sprout out to young grown men. Kids are being left without brothers. Fathers. Moms are left without sons. Aunts without nephews. This is so sad. That’s all I have to say. It's so sad."
Police said they were first alerted to it by their Shotspotter system.
They believe the shots came from someone who was inside of a car.
The Hartford Police Department's major crimes division was on the scene. It appeared to be focusing on the sidewalk where there were a pair of shoes.
Officers were there with flashlights and cameras.
"At this point we don’t have a lot," said Lt. Aaron Boisvert, Hartford police. "We know the shots we believe came from a vehicle. Detectives are here behind me. You can see our crime scene division is processing the scene. Major crimes just got out here. We’re going to be doing door-to-door canvas checking for private video as well as C4 cameras."
Police said Santiago death was the 28th homicide of the year for Hartford.
"Just like any other teenager, he loved to be surrounded with friends and loved ones and [this] is not the way for a young man to go," Pagan said. "This whole year we’ve been dealing with death. This city not tired? These people not tired? Like, it's so sad. It's so sad."
Hartford Public Schools confirmed that Santiago was a student there.
"The district crisis response team has been alerted," said John Fergus, director of communications and marketing, Hartford Public Schools. "Additional counselors and school social workers will be at the school [Monday] to provide support to students."
Hartford Superintendent of Schools Leslie Torres-Rodriguez said the grief counselors will be brought in as long as they're needed. The school is also working with community groups who specialize in conflict resolution to try and avoid any further violence.
"To address conflict resolution, to build relationships, in a restorative way," she said.
Weaver High School principal Tiffany Webley sent a letter to the school community:
It is with deep regret that we inform you about a recent loss to our school community. On Monday, September 27, Waldemar Santiago was the victim of a violent crime and he passed away at the hospital. He was currently a student at Weaver High School.
This loss will raise many emotions, concerns, and questions for our students.
Our District Crisis Intervention Team has been assembled and they will help with the needs of students, families, and school personnel. We will have counselors and social workers available for any student who may need or want help or any type of assistance. Peace Builders will be providing support to the school community (The Peace Builders are a partner organization and they help to mitigate violence, de-escalate conflict and build relationships).
We extend our condolences to Waldemar’s family and friends. Hartford Communities that Care, a non-profit organization is in contact with the family and providing them support.
We are extremely saddened by the loss to our school community and will make every effort to help you and your child as needed.
Channel 3 asked about the measures police have taken to combat gun violence in the capital city.
"Our gun arrests are higher than any year that I can remember," Boisvert said. "The officers are doing a good job, detectives are doing a good job. Unfortunately, you just never know when or where this is going to happen."
Anyone with information is asked to contact Hartford police at 860-722-TIPS (8477).