(Updated) Police arrested a 20-year-old man in connection with Wednesday night’s shooting death of a 16 year-old, and they’re looking for a second suspect—the person they believe pulled the fatal trigger.
The homicide took place at George and Day street, in an eerie scene that involved a mob brawl. Click here to read about it, as well as about a subsequent brawl at the Hospital of St. Raphael.
Police believe that the fight broke out over a dispute involving a girl. At least 10 people jumped one person in the dispute. That man allegedly broke free and started firing at random into the crowd. One of those bullets allegedly hit and eventually killed 16-year-old Sean Reeves of the Dwight/Kensington neighborhood.
Then a second man pulled out a gun and started shooting back, police believe. It’s that second man that police arrested early Friday morning. He faces weapons charges. He was arraigned in state Superior Court on Elm Street Friday morning and held on a $500,000 bond.
Police are applying for an arrest warrant for the first man, who allegedly fired the fatal bullet. They have not caught up with him yet.
At a press conference Friday afternoon at police headquarters, Mayor John DeStefano said Reeves’ death does not fit in with the general pattern of city shootings, where 85 percent of shooters and victims have past criminal records. Nor was the dispute about drugs, he said.
“Sean Reeves did nothing to warrant losing his life,” said DeStefano. “His family did nothing to warrant losing their son.”
Reeves’ father, aunt and cousins attended Friday’s press event. They declined to speak to the media.
Lt. Julie Johnson, who heads the Major Crimes Unit, called the killing a “senseless act of violence.” She said police believe Reeves was caught in the line of fire.
“We believe that he was not the target,” Johnson said.
The second suspect is wanted on a manslaughter charge—not murder, Johnson said. For a murder charge, cops would have to prove he intended to kill Reeves.
Johnson said police have not yet made contact with the suspect. He’s due in state court on Aug. 22 for a litany of unrelated charges related to selling drugs.
DeStefano and Johnson commended detectives for so quickly cracking the case.
Reeves is the year’s 21st homicide victim in New Haven. All but two of the victims have been black.
Reeves played with an Amateur Athletic Union basketball team called the New Haven Blazers. His coaches—including Carlton Staggers (a West Hills aldermanic candidate)—are hosting a fundraiser Saturday night for his family.
Following is the text of a release Staggers issued:
The New Haven Blazers, a local Amateur Athletic Union basketball team, is helping host a fundraiser in support of Sean Reeve’s family as they bury their son after he was shot and killed during a Wednesday night altercation. This Saturday night at 9:00 PM at Boku in West Haven, friends, family, and community members are gathering to help defray the costs of his funeral for Sean’s family. The proceeds of the event will go to commemorate the life of their teammate. Sean’s AAU basketball teammates and coaches are heading up the effort. Sean was loved by many friends and family. “Sean was a kid who died too young, too early,” says Sean’s former basketball coach Carlton Staggers. “He was trying to get his life together. We need to do more to keep these kids from hurting each other.”
Sean loved basketball and had worked to share his skills with younger kids in the community. He had stepped up to play a positive role in the lives of kids a few years younger. This summer alone he worked as a counselor for the Connecticut League Basketball Camp. The outpouring of support that will take place this Saturday demonstrates the community’s desire to both grieve and remember the life of a beloved New Haven son. All are encouraged to attend the fundraiser as well as the funeral. If you can commit a little support, it would mean a great deal to Sean’s family and friends.
For information please contact:
9:00 PM Saturday, August 13th
Boku Restaurant and Bar
481 Campbell Avenue, West Haven, CT
posted by: anon on August 12, 2011 5:31pm
Are our Governor / Mayor / State Legislators looking at any options to restrict gun access, or are they spending most of their time catering to suburban union workers?
posted by: Ora on August 12, 2011 7:26pm
I just feel so deeply for this family. Another young man’s life smudged out for no apparent reason other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time. So very sad.
I also wish the mayor would stop leading the police department around by the nose, he isn’t qualified to do so. Why is it necessary for him to lead every police news conference that takes place. Tired of him politicking 24/7 with every opportunity that presents itself. It was rare when Lewis was in charge because Lewis ran the police department with no interference from the mayor. When the mayor realized he was not in control, we saw Lewis gone. This is just inappropriate and I wish he would stop, it sickens me.
Let the family mourn and get away from the cameras mayor it is quite disgraceful.
posted by: Edward_H on August 12, 2011 9:05pm
“At least 10 people jumped one person in the dispute. That man allegedly broke free and started firing at random into the crowd. One of those bullets allegedly hit and eventually killed 16-year-old Sean Reeves of the Dwight/Kensington neighborhood.”
Is it known if the person who was killed was part of the group who jumped the shooter?
posted by: click click on August 12, 2011 9:32pm
Why is DeStefano in the photo? Did he make the arrest?
Thats the problem with King John photo-oping every chance he gets and interfering with the NHPD!
posted by: first observer on August 12, 2011 10:49pm
“Police arrested a 20-year-old man in connection with Wednesday night’s shooting death of a 16 year-old,”
. . .
“Then a second man, who’s 25, pulled out a gun and started shooting back, police believe. It’s that second man that police arrested early Friday morning.”
So—is the arrested man 20, or 25??
posted by: Ty on August 12, 2011 11:08pm
Perhaps this is a lesson for all the kids that chose to be spectators and just stood there watching someone get attacked.
posted by: Speak No Evil on August 12, 2011 11:23pm
Nothing wrong? Nothing? From the scene described, Reeves was one of ten giving a victim a beat down, until the victim shot back and became the criminal. Or Reeves was standing close by among spectator supporters of the meley. Would his AAU mentors have approved of his standing where he was the moment he got shot? This is not “blame the victim”, this is “reality to the reporter”.
posted by: westvillelocal on August 13, 2011 11:54am
“Johnson said police have not yet made contact with the suspect. He’s due in state court on Aug. 22 for a litany of unrelated charges related to selling drugs.”
Not a chance that he will be showing up at court since you all but said you will be waiting for him there. How soon is it before the States Atty. calls and thanks you for derailing their case?
posted by: Mik on August 13, 2011 11:59am
Enough is enough! if one is caught with an unregistered gun on their person, they there should be a mandatory minimum of 3 years. There is currently no reason for these people to be scared. Look at the judicial branch’s website and you’ll see the actual time served for criminal convictions is laughable. Not to mention the number of convicts with FTA re-arrest ordered status’ dating back months and in some cases years.
posted by: kelly on August 13, 2011 1:27pm
I’m tired of more gun laws and access comments.
Instead tell us how you stop criminals from getting guns.the truth is society is not willing to do whats needs to be done.We give these kids more excuses to many times in stead of coming down hard on them
posted by: Just the facts on August 14, 2011 10:32am
If your interested in learning where the guns come from in New Haven, you can refer to the NHI article about “bummy jack.” I believe it’s titled “Feds adopt case.”
posted by: kelly on August 14, 2011 3:41pm
still blaming the guns and not the shooters .yes guns coming in is a problem. the bigger problems are the one’s behind the guns and until were ready to really deal with them we will all ways have this problem.this along with poor parenting lack of education lack of morals lack of respect of one another the list goes on.we blame the cops the teacther everyone but us and those that see and will not say anything
posted by: Taxwestvile on August 15, 2011 9:41am
It is wonderful to have a Mayor who has taught, a Superintendent, and a Police Chief lol! Always there for the pictures fronting ....only t get votes! What a joke! Now, my heart goes out to the parents who lost their son. Why is it that overtime a youth is killed a collection plate or fundraiser is held? Insurance is now up to the age of twenty six are the parents employed? The parents of all theses youth must be responsible for their kids at some point! Raise money for a youth training center in the name of all the young people who have lost their youth due to the guy play on the streets of the fourth largest crime ridden city in America!
posted by: kelly on August 15, 2011 12:30pm
I for one am angry this is not the new haven i grow up in.people cared for each other. the neighborhoods were diverse.we never heard a gun shot not because guns weren’t available but because most didn’t think that way.we even the kids had morals self respect.what went wrong is the question i pose to all.