BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — A recent not guilty verdict in the case of a shooting at Trumbull Gardens Apartments that left one dead and eight injured last summer may have triggered the rash of shootings across the city in recent weeks, according to Mayor Joe Ganim.
Speaking after an appearance at the Beardsley Zoo on Wednesday, Ganim said that Police Chief AJ Perez believes the verdict handed down July 21 may have stoked “rivalries” among different factions. But Ganim stopped short of calling the incidents gang related.
Ganim said the city is “amping up” police presence at city housing complexes, including Trumbull Gardens, Charles F. Greene Homes and P.T. Barnum Apartments.
Bridgeport saw three shootings earlier this week, the most notable occurring Aug. 27 when 18-year-old Shane Slinksky of Stamford was shot and killed on Wood Terrace.
The violence continued Aug. 29, when three teens were reportedly shot outside the Greene Homes, a public housing complex on Washington Avenue, and a man and woman were shot outside Reservoir Deli on Reservoir Avenue in the North End. All three incidents remain under investigation with no arrests made.
Back on Aug. 21 two gunmen ambushed a house party on Plymouth Street, firing into a crowd and injuring 13 people. That incident also remains under investigation, but Ganim said police do not believe that is related to the other shootings.
Jamal "Moo Moo" Hamilton was found not guilty on all charges related to the 2015 shooting spree at Trumbull Gardens, which is not far from Reservoir Deli.
Hamilton was accused of ambushing a group of people outside the housing complex on June 11, 2015. He had been charged with murder and eight counts of first-degree assault in the shooting.
The suspects approached the area by car and parked on Sunshine Circle, an adjacent street, police said. They entered the housing complex, split up, and simultaneously attacked from several positions, police said.
They sprayed the crowd with gunfire, striking eight of the nine victims, police said.
As the suspects fled, they continued to fire back at the parking lot and in doing so struck an elderly woman who was in her shower on the second floor of her home, police said.
Since that shooting, cameras were installed at Trumbull Gardens.
“As chief of police, I am very concerned about the recent spike in gun violence in our great city," Perez said in a statement released Tuesday. "We, the members of the Bridgeport Police Department, remain deeply committed to ensuring the safety of our citizens. We are working closely with our partners from local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to stem the gang violence that has so recently impacted our residents."
Anybody with information about the recent shootings is asked to contact the police department tip line at 203-576-TIPS (8477).
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