Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley said Oscar Salgado, 29, of Hartford, was shot in the head in the city’s South Green neighborhood just after 7:15 on Tuesday night. He was pronounced dead at Hartford Hospital.
Foley said two young children witnessed Selgado being shot. It wasn’t immediately clear whether they were related to the victim or the suspect, who remains at large. Police said they believe the shooting was drug-related.
The shooting took place in the parking lot of the Dunkin’ Donuts at 265 Washington Street, across the street from the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and Hartford Hospital. The victim was taken to Hartford Hospital where he was pronounced dead just after 9:30 p.m.
Foley said there are cameras all over the area, and investigators have retrieved video that shows the suspect chasing the victim from Mr. Sparkle Car Wash to the Dunkin Donuts, where he was shot.
The shooting took place at the same time Mayor Luke Bronin was hosting a monthly town hall meeting at the Wilson-Gray YMCA, focused on public safety.
Bronin went through a slide show with community members to show them the ways city leaders, police and community organizations are playing a role in trying to reduce violence.
“I thought it was important to just come out and have a conversation about what we as a city are doing and what we can do better,” Bronin said at the meeting. “Most importantly, from me to hear from you about how we can do it better together.”
Bronin shared efforts to improve the city saying the three main focuses have been the Hartford Police Department, community partners and the residents.
He said there’s a focus on building a diverse police department that reflects the community.
In regards to this particular shooting, Bronin said it appears this shooting may have been a drug related incident, and if it is, this is just another example of families being destroyed by gun violence and heroin epidemic that is destroying communities throughout the country.
“Our detectives and our federal partners on the Focused Violence Reduction Team will give everything they have to finding the person who committed this crime. I’m heartbroken for the two children who witnessed this murder, and I pray that they receive the support, care and love that they need in such a traumatic time,” said Bronin.
Bronin said in February, the Hartford Police Department welcomed 16 new recruits, 60-percent are black or Hispanic. In March, the city received 140 applications from Hartford residents and 93-percent are black or Hispanic.
He said that the city falls short in areas which it will work on, such as creating more coordination between community partners and local and state agencies, increasing access to behavioral health services, and finding more opportunities for younger kids.
Community members expressed many ideas at the meeting but many said they wanted to see less talk and more action when it comes to violence.
Tuesday night's shooting is still under investigation and police are looking for a suspect.
The homicide is Hartford's ninth this year.