Hartford Police Unsolved Double Murder
The Murders Of Kwante Feliciano And Kelly Cooper
Date: Monday, March 25th, 2013
Time Of Incident: 1704 Reported To Police
Location: 138 Clark Street, Hartford
Cause Of Death: Kwante Feliciano—Gunshot To Center Chest-Died On March 25th
Kelly Cooper—Gunshot Wound To Head—Died March 26th
Manner Of Death: Homicide
On the date of Monday, March 25th, 2013 Hartford Police were alerted to a report of gunshots in the area of 150 Clark Street by the GSL Shot Spotter System that was in operation in the area. As police arrived on scene they observed a red pickup truck being driven from the area at a high rate of speed. Police gave chase and the pickup stopped. Inside was Randolph Feliciano and he immediately notified police that his son had been shot at 138 Clark Street and he was taking him to St. Francis Hospital. Police formed an escort to the Hospital and Randolph drove his son with police following him to the hospital. The pickup truck became a part of the crime scene at the hospital.
Police learned that at approximately 1700 hours that Randolph heard gunshots from his Clark Street home and looked out the window. Randolph saw his 19 year old son, Kwante, being chased by a second man who was wearing a hooded sweatshirt and firing a gun. Kwante was hit by gunfire and fell to the ground in the driveway of 138 Clark Street. The gunman fled on foot north on Clark Street, Hartford and escaped. Randolph ran to give aid to his son, placed him inside of his pickup truck and tried to get him to the hospital he was stopped by police and then escorted to St. Francis Hospital. Kwante Feliciano was pronounced dead almost immediately upon arrival to St. Francis Hospital and had sustained a gunshot wound to the center of his chest.
A second victim from this incident arrived at St. Francis Hospital by private vehicle as well. His name was Kelly Cooper, age 30. Cooper was a resident of Westland Street and was on Clark Street talking to friends as the shooting of Kwante Feliciano was taking place. Police learned that Cooper was watching the shooting and was standing in the passenger doorway of a parked vehicle. As the gunman fired several shots at Kwante Feliciano at 138 Clark Street one of the bullets struck Kelly Cooper in the head. He screamed that he had been hit and collapsed to the pavement. Friends put him in another vehicle and transported him to St. Francis Hospital as well. Kelly Cooper arrived at St. Francis Hospital in critical condition. He worsened overnight and died on Tuesday, March 26th, 2013 as a direct result of being shot in the head.
At the hospital emergency room chaos ruled. Members of both victim’s families arrived in large groups at the emergency room to mourn.
On March 26th, 2013 Hartford Police had a double murder to investigate and three crime scenes to secure for evidence gathering. The scene of the crime was the main murder scene. The two private vehicles used for victim transport were processed as crime scenes as well.
Victim #2 Kelly Cooper was not the target of the gunman and was killed as he watched the crime unfold, a bystander hit by a stray bullet fired in his direction.
In the investigation that followed Hartford Police didn’t receive a great deal of information about this crime. Not many people came forward with enough information to arrest anyone. Police did learn that Kwante Feliciano would tell friends that if anything happened to him, if he were killed, it would be people from a neighborhood called by residents as “New Jack City” that were responsible. Police learned that there may have been a dispute over a female between individuals belonging to that neighborhood area and Feliciano.
Police assembled a lot of information regarding this area. In Hartford the area called “New Jack City” is a cluster of buildings at the addresses of 2602-2606 main Street and also at 2495 Main Street. This is also a group of multi-generational criminals whose main “job” is street drug selling.
“The term “New Jack City” for this geographical part of Hartford as a street name used by area residents since the mid 1990’s to describe it. It was referred to as that when I was still a police officer and was named after a movie of the same name. As a Hartford Police officer I investigated and arrested individuals in both locations for drugs, guns and violent crimes and not much has changed there.”
Police interviewed several persons who pointed to persons affiliated with the “New Jack City” areas as persons of interest responsible for this double murder but not enough to proceed with an arrest. Police need the public’s help in solving this double murder.
Kwante Feliciano was a 19 year old college student. He was gunned down in his own neighborhood about 50 feet from his home and with his father watching helplessly. Kelley Cooper was just hanging around with friends on Clark Street when this crime occurred and was the innocent victim of a violent criminal with a gun. He was a bystander victim of this crime.
Clark Street is a neighborhood with holes close together. There is constant vehicular and pedestrian traffic especially at the time of this incident (around 5 pm). There are witnesses to this crime but fear keeps them from telling police just what happened.