Hartford Police: Suspect arrested in shooting death of 15-year-old

HARTFORD -- Hartford Police have made an arrest in connection with the murder of 15-year-old Keon Huff on March 17th.

Police said they arrested a young, Hartford man, under the age of 18. He is currently in juvenile detention and sits on a 2 million dollar bond, charged with murder, tampering with evidence, and carrying a pistol without a permit. Because of his age, police aren't going into the details of the investigation, but thank the community for their help in the case.

Huff was a member of a local AAU Basketball team. His former teammates said the news of his death is extremely shocking and sad.

"He still fit in like he was family. He always loved us. We played around a lot," said Triston Reid, a former teammate.

Steven Thompson, Huff's former coach said he was always a kid that made people laugh at any given situation.

"He could have been there for thirty seconds or thirty minutes, you never forgot him," said Thompson.

Community and religious members came together last Sunday to discuss what needs to happen to fight gun violence.

Reverend Henry Brown spoke about the need for people to speak out against illegal activity and speak up about what they see.

"It's a problem that Hartford has had for the last 20 years. We know a lot of people be like, that's my boy, that's my friend, he's alright, and this is a friend that put the gun to a friend's head and blow her brains out," said Rev. Brown.

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin thanked those who helped make this arrest possible.

“I want to thank the Hartford Police Department and, in particular, the detectives who worked nonstop over the past week, in close partnership with the community.  I also want to thank the Hartford community, because ultimately our police could not have done their job without tremendous support," said Bronin.

He added, "But real success isn’t solving crimes, it’s solving the systemic problems that put two young men – and many more – on a path that leads to so much pain.  Because when a very young man loses his life at the hands of another young man, two families, so many friends, and our entire community will feel that pain forever.”

Donna G., a resident in the neighborhood said a little communication and engagement can go a long way in fixing crime in the city.

"Some of them just need a hug. Just to said I love you. I'm thinking about you. I want more from you," said Donna.

Hartford Deputy chief Brian Foley said the arrest shouldn't signal a finished job.

"This is a holistic problem that needs to be addressed holistically," said Foley.

Several community members have stepped to provide support to Keon's family and others who have experienced gun violence.

Eliezer Mercado helps run a faith-based organization called "Know Thy Neighbor". The group pairs families and individuals with resources aimed to help them better their lives. In a few weeks Mercado plans to release a new program that will help Keon's family.

"We would have an individual assign to these families for thirty, sixty, ninety, or 120 days so they can connect with them.

The suspect arrested in Huff's murder is set to be arraigned in court Monday.