Man, 23, Shot Dead

A man was shot to death Wednesday afternoon in the West Hills neighborhood.

Police got the call at 12:29 p.m.

They don’t have many details yet on what happened. Witnesses reported see a man chase and fatally shoot another man on South Genesee Street in the vicinity of the McConaughy Terrace housing project and the basketball courts near Whalley Avenue, according to Sgt. Al Vazquez, head of the police department’s major crimes unit. The victim, 23-year-old Brian Gibson of New Haven, was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital, where “despite the best efforts of medical staff, he died from his wounds,” according to police spokesman Officer David Hartman.

“This was in broad daylight. Kids were out playing in front of their houses,” reported Alderman Brian Wingate, who visited the crime scene.

Police were beginning to canvass the neighborhood and trying to piece together what happened. As of 1:45 p.m. the gunman—described as “a dark complexioned black man, in his late teens to early 20s” with “a blue and white baseball cap” and hair braided down to his neck—was at large. The man is believed to be five-foot-nine or shorter. Police asked anyone with information to call 203-946-6304.

Gibson was on probation at the time of the murder.

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posted by: HhE on July 3, 2013  3:25pm

Your Facebook photo will be your memorial.  Choose carefully.

posted by: streever on July 3, 2013  3:33pm

Shame on the NHI for posting the photo they did. Seriously? I’m upset and disappointed. This is a typical incident of media contributing to systemic racism.

While it may have been easy for you to grab the Facebook photo, the reality is that this young man—like many young people—probably has many aspects to his character and identity, and probably would not have chosen this image as his final image.

It is also unethical: did you even bother to check what the rights were on it? Fair use in this type of case—the photo of a crime victim—typically depends on who profits—you—and if it has any benefit to the person whose work is re-used.

In short, what you’ve done here is unethical from a journalistic standpoint, and perpetuates an image of rowdy, angry, inappropriate black youth—you would not use a similar photo for a white victim of murder, although I can tell you that my brother and his friends ALL had similar photos on their facebooks.

Using photos like this implies something about the victim, and I am extremely disappointed.

[Editor: Photo removed.]

posted by: CityWatcher on July 3, 2013  4:39pm

Considering it was used as his public facebook picture, it must be what he wanted to portray to the public as his image.

One’s history and past actions also define such. I’d say after a quick search, both seem to match hand in hand.

posted by: HhE on July 3, 2013  7:16pm

Fair one, CityWatcher, but I am with streever on this one.  The NHI ought to have respected the dignity of the dead, and been more considerate of his family.

posted by: streever on July 4, 2013  6:38am

Thanks to the NHI for removing the photo.

A lot of young white men have similar photos on their facebook. When they are victims of crime, you rarely see those pictures used for news stories.

People do stupid things when they are young. Sadly, this man did not have the same opportunities that myself and many other young men have to redeem those stupid things as we grow older.

posted by: carpediem on July 4, 2013  8:02am

Did it happen around midnight or in broad daylight? Careless fact checking or proofreading, NHI.

[Ed.: 12:29 p.m. Thanks for catching that.]

posted by: Edward_H on July 12, 2013  5:17am


Seeing how quickly you capitulated to unfounded charges of racism is disheartening. Such editorial cowardice is one reason I barely read the NHI anymore. Especially since the initial charge was made by someone who has in the past tried to paint a black crime victim as a criminal. You made a decision to use a photo made public by the deceased,you should stand by your decision if the photo was publicly available and obtained ethically.

If you are going to remove the picture due to possible perceptions by the reader you might as well remove the mention of the housing project as well.  You are perpetuating the image of housing projects being crime magnets. The fact of the murder happening in the vicinity of a housing project not needed. You could have just published the street address.

You are also perpetuating the image of rowdy, angry, inappropriate black youth by putting out the suspects physical description. The description is only detailed enough to tell us the suspect was a young black male.

The final sentence of Gibson being on probation should be considered racist as well. This fact will not help the public find his killer it just perpetuates an image of young black men being criminals.

So to be consistent please remove the mentions of:
1) the housing project being in the vicinity
2) the description of the suspect
3) the fact that Gibson was on probation