(Updated 6:53 p.m.) Cops fired on a fleeing murder suspect during a foot chase Wednesday afternoon—then arrested him as he later emerged from a building in a new set of clothes.
The action took place around 4 p.m. in the Dwight-Kensington and West River neighborhoods.
It began when plainclothes detectives spotted a 21-year-old man they believe shot and killed 31-year-old Qusaan “QB” McKoy on Chapel Street near Derby at 3:45 a.m. Tuesday.
The police identified the suspect—known on the street as “Big Head Shaune”—early in the investigation into McKoy’s death. They spent Tuesday and Wednesday looking for him.
When the plainclothes detectives saw Big Head Shaune on Kensington Street Wednesday, they held back from grabbing him until back-up officers could arrive.
At some point the suspect realized he was being followed. He took off on a mountain bike. The cops chased him. He ditched the mountain bike.
Big Head Shaune pointed his gun at the cops chasing him, according to Assistant Police Chief Archie Generoso. An officer fired back, Generoso said. He didn’t say how many times the officer fired. Big Head Shaune was not hit.
The suspect ran around to the back of New Haven Pizza at George and Norton streets, according to people working inside the restaurant. The suspect apparently dropped a gun there, which police later recovered.
A bullet came through the restaurant’s back door and ended up in a sink, according to New Haven Pizza’s owner, Ibrahim Elevli.
The suspect ran from New Haven Pizza through backyards to an apartment building at the intersection of Derby Avenue, George Street, and Norton Street. He ran inside. Police massed outside. The SWAT team was called to the scene.
Before the SWAT team arrived, the suspect emerged, and police arrested him without incident. He was wearing a different set of clothes than the ones he had had on during the chase. Police went inside and obtained that original outfit, according to Generoso.
Big Head Shaune told cops he was high on PCP, according to police spokesman Officer Dave Hartman. He complained of breathing difficulties and was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital.
The murder of Qussan McKoy was particularly gruesome. He’d been chased to the sidewalk in front of Haven Market near when Derby Avenue breaks off from Chapel; he was shot multiple times, including in the head.
His murder followed what may be an emerging pattern in 2013: in which at least the victim or the shooter is not in his late teens or early 20s, but older. In this case, the victim had just recently gotten out of jail after a five-year stint. Some observers are asking whether tensions may be developing between older guns seeking to reclaim their previous roles in the streets, and younger people who have taken their place. While it is believed that Qussan and his shooter had been engaged in a dispute of some sort, it is not known what the dispute entailed.