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East Hartford Police release photo of car suspected in drive-by shooting that injured a teen and 5-year-old

EAST HARTFORD — East Hartford Police say they are investigating after a shooting that left a 19-year-old and a 5-year-old with injuries.

Police say they responded to the drive-by shooting on 10 Great Hill Road on Thursday. When they arrived, they found two victims, Michael Atkinson, 19, and a 5-year-old boy suffering from non-life threatening injuries. They were taken to the hospital and they are in stable condition.

East Hartford Police Detectives are looking for a light-blue or gray 4-door BMW with tinted windows and minor passenger-side, front-end damage.

Police are asking anyone with information about this incident or the car to call Detective Daniel Ortiz at 860-291-7669 or police at an anonymous tip line at 860-289-9134.

East Hartford Police Chief Scott Sansom said in a statement:

Out hears go out to the victims and their families as well as their neighbors who all deserve to live in a safe community. Incidents like this are simply unacceptable. I can assure that we are actively investigating this shooting and pursuing each and every lead. We will not rest until justice is served.

Neighbors in the area said the violence has gotten worse over the years.

“You know, bang-bang … four!” said longtime East Hartford Resident, Bob Aylward.

Aylward has lived on Great Hill Road with his wife for close to 40 years. He said he has seen a lot happen and what he has noticed lately is the frequent shootings. He said he thought it was firecrackers at first until he stepped outside and saw the police cars and ambulances.

“It’s progressively getting worse,” added Aylward.

Police believe the shooting happened outside and over a dozen crime scene markers were placed on and around a silver car.

“Things can happen anywhere. It was a bad moment in a neighborhood like this, you know? It’s shameful,” said Fabian Rapino of Manchester.

“That’s disheartening. You see kids running around all day long. Just last week up the street here, there was a shooting,” added Aylward.

Another longtime resident that heard the gunshots was Betty Krongibiel. She grew up in Mayberry Village and said the neighborhood used to be filled with veterans but the ongoing violence has driven many away.

“I said ‘Oh boy. This doesn’t look good’ and then all of a sudden, it got stronger and stronger and I realized that they were just across the street,” said Krongibiel.

The nephew of the man who was said he also heard the gunshots. Mekyi Shepard was shocked to learn it was one of his family members but said he has checked in with him at the hospital and is relieved to hear his uncle will be okay.

“The people that live across the street, he’s friends with them and I was here with them and we just heard the shots and I didn’t know what happened when I went down there,” said Shepard of East Hartford.