Community gathers to remember 1 man killed, pray for 8 shot at Bridgeport apartment complex

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BRIDGEPORT -- The city's mayor and police chief expressed outrage and said police were adding patrols in the area in addition to investigating leads in the overnight shootings which resulted in one death and eight injuries.

Savonnie McNeil

Savonnie McNeil

Officials said Savonnie McNeil, 37, of Shelton was killed. Police said he grew up in Trumbull Gardens. Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch said McNeil was the nephew of a security guard in the complex. Bridgeport Police Chief Joseph Gaudett Jr. said McNeil was the father of  five children aged 1 month to 19.

Eight others were injured in the shooting at Trumbull Gardens housing complex on Trumbull Avenue. The suspects were last seen fleeing on foot behind a building in the complex.

At a morning press conference, the suspects were identified by police as "young men covered in hoodies." A stray bullet went into one of the apartment buildings and injured an elderly woman, who was in her bathtub, police said.

Chief Gaudett said they believed two shooters, wearing hooded sweatshirts fired shots at the group of people standing in a parking lot and then fled on foot.

Gaudett said dozens of detectives are working on the shooting  investigation and they still need the public's help to identify suspects. Police are also seeing if businesses in the area might have had security cameras that could provide clues.

Of the nine adults shot, six were male and three were female, police said, ranging in age from 27 to 59 years old.

According to Bridgeport Hospital, three of the patients were taken there for treatment. The rest were taken to St. Vincent's. Of the three who went to Bridgeport Hospital, two are in fair condition with injuries that are not life-threatening, and the third was treated and released.

Crisis intervention teams will provide mental health support for people in the complex.

On Thursday night, three vigils were held to honor McNeil, pray for the victims who were injured, and fight to stop the violence.

Finch said, "We are outraged at this violence. The community is outraged. Nearly everyone living on Trumbull Gardens is hard working, taking their kids to school."

He encouraged people with information to come forward.

George Lee Byers, the executive director of the Housing Authority, said he had just come back from Hartford, where he was campaigning for more money to improve safety throughout the city. He said the funds were especially needed in housing complexes like this, where there is not an over abundance of surveillance video readily available.

"We are going to put up more cameras," said Byers.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Bridgeport Police Department at 203-581-5201.