WETHERSFIELD, CT (WFSB) -- Family members and friends are demanding answers after an officer- involved shooting in Wethersfield Saturday night.
Anthony Jose Vega Cruz, an 18-year-old, is in critical condition following the shooting.
Silas Deane Highway was closed on Saturday night. Two police officers attempted to stop a suspicious car, according to Wethersfield Police Chief James Cetran. Cetran said the car stopped at first, then took off again. Police were able to stop the car on the second try, and police officers shot at the suspect’s car, hitting Cruz.
According to State Police, one officer exited his vehicle. He discharged the firearm as Cruz’s vehicle drove toward him. There was a collision between Cruz’s vehicle and a Wethersfield police car prior to when the officer discharged his firearm.
Cruz’s family is now asking for justice. Channel 3 spoke with family members at a vigil Sunday afternoon in Hartford. They say they are heartbroken for Cruz, who they call Chulo.
“This is devastating,” Davon Colon, Cruz’s nephew said. “This is a tragedy. He was shot in the head two times.”
Channel 3 learned Cruz is currently on life support. The car Cruz was in had two bullet holes in the windshield. Cruz was in the car with 18-year-old Stephanie Santiago at the time of the shooting. She was uninjured.
Santiago, who chose not to be on camera, was at the vigil Sunday. She did tell Channel 3 that police didn’t have to shoot Cruz.
Wethersfield Police say the officers suspected the car Cruz was driving was stolen, but State Police is working to confirm. Cruz’s family says the car is not stolen but unregistered and that he was unarmed.
“We want justice” Myrna Alicea, a friend said. “We want it to stop.”
This incident is the second police involved shooting in Connecticut.
Activists from the demonstrations in New Haven and Hamden came to the vigil Sunday as well.
“My concern is as it has been, our growing concern of the last several years that we have incidents where officers shoot first and very rarely, ask questions,” Bishop John Selders, an activist with Moral Monday CT said.
Cruz remains in the hospital on life support and the demands for justice carry on. Monday, activists plan to meet outside the Wethersfield Police Department.
This is still an active investigation. Those with information on the incident are asked to contact Connecticut State Police at 860-685-8190.
This story is developing. Stay with Channel 3 for updates.