A deadly shooting on Hamilton Street in Hartford early Thursday morning led to a crash.

A man was shot in the back near 19 Hamilton St. and the vehicle he drove crashed into a tree and fence on the road.

It happened around 2:45 a.m.

Hartford Police identified the victim as 35-year-old, Miguel Perez, of Hartford.

Police said it's not clear if Perez was shot while driving the car or if he was hit first, then got into the vehicle.

Hamilton Street, which is in the Frog Hollow section of the city, was closed at Zion Street for the investigation.

Preez was transferred to Hartford Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

“Everything’s changed in this place. For years, I’ve lived here,“ said Antonio Sebasiao, an area resident.

Sebasiao said he and his wife have lived in the area for more than 40 years. They feel concerned about increasing violence in the city.

“Pretty soon we afraid to drive the car," he said. "Because we don’t know what’s coming."

Thursday's incident marked the 62nd shooting in the city this year and the 10th homicide.

It's a statistic that needs to change, according to Mayor Luke Bronin. He said that starts with the need for more police officers on the streets.

“There’s been an independent study that was done a number of years ago that recommended 482," Bronin said. "It’s been many year since the city had 482 or close to that. Right now we are under 400. And you can debate whether you need to be at 482 or 450, but it's very clear that we need more than we’ve got.”

Residents in Hartford are speaking out about the violence.

Reverend Henry Brown has lived in Hartford for 45 years and has been speaking out about violence for 18 of them.

"I'm a gunshot victim myself. I got home my first day from military 1972, I got home my first night and I got shot. And I didn't do nothing for years, then a little seven-year-old girl named Takira Gaston was shot in the face on 2001 and that changed my whole life," said Brown.

That girl survived, but since then Brown has dedicated his life to trying to save someone else from being shot.

"I've dealt with over 400 people that have been victims of homicide and it's the same old scenario," Brown said.

Brown said that he believes Bronin, city officials and police are doing what they can, but more is needed.

"It starts at home, it's got to start in the community. We have to start policing ourselves. The police can't arrest us out of this," said Brown.

Police said Perez was likely targeted.

No other details were released.

Copyright 2018 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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