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Striped Shirt Led To Arrest
by Thomas MacMillan | Apr 27, 2011 7:26 am
Posted to: Legal Writes, West River
After shooting two men on Derby Street Monday, a gunman didn’t go far. Police found him standing moments later on a nearby porch, still holding the shirt he’d been spotted wearing when he allegedly pulled the trigger.
Those details are laid out in police reports on file in New Haven Superior Court, where the 20-year-old alleged gunman was arraigned on Tuesday and held on bond. He’s charged with shooting two men outside of 59 Derby Ave. in West River on Monday afternoon.
Raymond Ball, who’s 52, of 62 Derby Ave., was shot in the abdomen and is in stable condition. Brian Rogers, 21, of 59 Derby Ave., was treated and released for a gunshot wound to the ankle. Rogers and the alleged gunman were both born on Sept. 11, in 1989 and 1990 respectively.
According to court records, the man arrested for the crimes is a convicted felon who was found guilty of gun and assault charges in 2009.
A police incident report shows the man was arrested almost immediately after the shootings, thanks to the help of an eyewitness. Another report indicates the shooting may have stemmed from a scuffle last week between Rogers and another man. The shooting was also apparently preceded by an attempted shooting, during which injury was avoided by a gun that wouldn’t fire.
Rogers, however, failed to ID the man arrested as the man he had scuffled with.
Here’s what led to the arrest, according to a report by Detective Wayne Bullock:
Officers responded to 59 Derby Ave. at 3:49 p.m. Sgt. Tony Reyes located a witness who told him he saw the shooting and recognized the shooter as a guy who often hangs out at a house next to the Scorpio Lounge, around the corner on Norton Street. The witness said the shooter was wearing a striped shirt.
Sgt. Reyes and Detective Bullock, along with other cops, walked to the house, at 19 Norton St., where they found two men standing on the porch. One was holding a striped shirt in his hand and matched the description given by the witness.
That man told cops he had just walked from Whalley Pizza, met the other guy at Derby and Norton streets, and they had walked to 19 Norton St. together. “Both denied any involvement in the shooting and said they didn’t hear anything about the incident,” Bullock wrote.
Sgt. Reyes went back to the crime scene and got the witness, who ID’d the man with the striped shirt as the shooter. Police arrested the man and learned that he had initially given them a fake name.
Police secured a warrant to search the suspect’s apartment. Detective David Zaweski found gun cylinders inside a safe. Detective Bullock found a revolver on a shelf inside a closet in a child’s bedroom.
Click, Click, Click
Another incident report, written by Officer Sean Sullivan indicates that one of the shooting victims had been threatened and nearly shot at during the week before he was hit in the ankle.
Here’s what he found out, according to his report:
After the shootings, Officer Sullivan and Detective Nicole Natale went to the hospital to interview the victims. Rogers, who was hit in the ankle, told Sullivan he didn’t see who shot him. He had been playing outside with his 2-year-old son when he heard gunshots, grabbed his son to flee, and realized he was hit.
When asked if he knew who would shoot him, Rogers told Sullivan he had gotten into a fight the previous Tuesday. It had begun as an argument between a man and two women, in front of a porch Rogers was sitting on. Then the man had started yelling at Rogers, who confronted him and was punched on the nose. Rogers then chased the man to a home on Winthrop Avenue, near George Street. As the man fled, he said he was going to get his “burner.”
Then last Thursday, Rogers was walking on Derby Avenue at around 7 p.m. with another person, whose name is redacted in the police report. A masked man with a gun confronted them. Rogers thought it was the guy he’d chased off a couple days prior, judging by his voice and gait. Either Rogers or his companion ran (redacted).
The masked man pointed the gun at the remaining man, and pulled the trigger three times. But it didn’t fire, only clicked.
On Monday, cops showed Rogers a photo board of men, which included a picture of the man they arrested for the double shooting. But Rogers couldn’t identify anyone in the line-up as the man he’d gotten into a fight with.
In other police news, according to police spokesman Officer Joe Avery:
There was a shooting with no injuries around noon Monday. According to police, witnesses saw a man in his mid-20s, wearing a black beanie cap, firing a handgun in the driveway of 332 Winthrop Ave. They also saw a man in a royal blue zip-up sweater and a green hat. One of them fled on a black and silver bicycle on Chapel Street, toward the Hospital of St. Raphael. Police recovered .40-caliber shell casings.
At 8:35 p.m. Monday, a clerk at the Stop & Shop at 214 Whalley Ave. reported hearing several shots. Police found shell casings from a .22-caliber weapon, but found no victims or witnesses.
East Coast Rapist Enters Plea
Also Monday, Aaron Thomas, the man police say is the “East Coast Rapist,” appeared in court to enter a pro forma not guilty plea for a misdemeanor larceny charge. Authorities believe Thomas, who was arrested in upper Westville March 4, committed at least 17 sexual crimes in 12 states over a dozen years. After an exhaustive search that stretched from Rhode Island to Virginia, police used a discarded cigarette butt to make what they say is a DNA match for the 39-year-old.
Thomas pleaded not guilty last month to charges of first-degree sexual assault, first-degree burglary and risk of injury to a child in a 2007 case in New Haven. Authorities say that Thomas sexually assaulted a woman while her baby slept in the same room. He’s also been indicted on multiple charges in Virginia, including rape.
Thomas is due back in court May 27.
“Oz” Gets 5 Years On Gun Charge
On Tuesday, a New Haven man was sentenced to five years in prison in federal court in Hartford for possessing a firearm despite a previous felony conviction.
According to a press release from U.S. Attorney spokesman Tom Carson, Phillip “Oz” Holmes, 23, pleaded guilty to the single charge in December. Holmes was arrested in January 2010 after police tried to pull him over in the area of East Street and Grand Avenue because of his window tinting.
Holmes fled on foot, tossing away a jacket as he ran. A loaded .32-caliber pistol was tucked into the jacket, and a search of the car yielded a loaded 9mm pistol and 15 baggies of crack cocaine.
According to Carson’s release, police also found $1,382 in cash on Holmes.
As part of his guilty plea, Holmes acknowledged that he planned to sell the crack. U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant sentenced Holmes to 64 months in prison, plus three years of probation.
Click here for a list of emergency calls for major incidents on Monday, April 25. Click on the image below to see those crimes placed on a city-wide map.
For block-by-block year-to-date crime info, and daily crime maps, check the Independent’s crime log.
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Good work on the arrest—
Also—I wanted to thank the NHI for re-working the crime map so that the addresses/locations are clearer. I found the old maps interesting to look at but often really hard to read, and this is much better, I think.
why was there no reporting at all about the shooting on Clinton Ave on April 15th?
another example of why our judicial system needs to be overhauled with stiffer/harsher penalties for wanna be thug/cowards like payton,....payton already has a gun case and a drug case,...so you tell me why he is out??? roger’s is lucky his child didn’t become yet another statistic,..in the long run “we” as a society are to blame for allowing scum like payton out on the streets