NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) – New Haven’s mayor and police chief spoke on Tuesday morning to address the rise in gun violence being seen in the Elm City.
This comes one day after shots were fired on Eastern Street.
Last week, the city had five shootings, three of them being homicides.
Tuesday’s briefing is the first of what will become a series of weekly briefings where Mayor Justin Elicker and Police Chief Renee Dominguez provide updates on gun violence.
The mayor and chief also announced new initiatives aimed at combating violent crime.
The city says there is progress, with officials saying Tuesday that the city has taken 144 guns off the street this year, compared to 97 at this time last year.
“Someone that shoots, it's highly possible they’ll shoot again and helping us solve one crime, you could help save a life," Elicker said.
In fact, this month, police say they got two different tips regarding teenagers. One planned to show up to a vigil with a gun, and another enroute to the funeral of 14-year-old homicide victim Tyshaun Hargrove, with a revolver.
In both cases, police were able to arrest the teens.
“What is the intention? I don’t know. Are people coming for retaliation? We don’t know, but we know these weapons were at these two locations and it’s important for us to take them off the streets,” Dominguez said.
Following a recent surge of five shootings last week, the Elm City reached out the state for additional resources and starting this week. Three CT State Police detectives will join New Haven’s Shooting Task Force.
“The personnel that we have assigned are familiar with the city and they’re familiar with the New Haven police department and have worked in the past and we’ll continue to,” said CT State Police Col. Stavros Mellekas.
When it comes to what is causing the violence, the chief said there are a couple of different groups and gangs that are feuding, but that’s only part of it, adding lately they’ve seen gunfire, following a dice game and even a fight at a bar.
That’s why they’re asking people to call in any tips they might have, regardless of how small you might think they are.
“It may be the last piece of the puzzle. Many of the cases the detectives are working on, they’re almost there. We just need the help from the community to push it over the finish line so we can get it to a warrant so we can make an arrest,” Dominguez said.
Police stress all tips can be made anonymously.
The city also said the updates will be held every Friday morning and streamed live on the mayor’s Facebook page.