HARTFORD -- June 11, 2003 Hartford Police were called to St. Francis Hospital on the report of a shooting victim that was brought to the hospital by private vehicle. Police responded and learned that the victim of the shooting was Benjamin Baez.
They discovered that he had been shot while seated in a vehicle outside the address of 1313 Main Street by a man who approached him with a gun. A verbal argument began and ended with Benjamin being shot once and later dying of his injuries.
Police had two crime scenes to cover. One was at St. Francis Hospital and the other was at the scene of the actual crime.
In the investigation, police learned that there were many witnesses to the shooting. They received little cooperation from anyone at the scene as the investigation moved forward. Several people came forward with a little bit of info but when it was time to put their names to their statements they balked and the case stalled. The situation left police with the knowledge of who committed the murder and assisted afterward but it is not enough for police to know, they need corroboration. For this investigation to be successful, the community must work with police or the case would go cold.
Hartford Police were very familiar with Benjamin Baez. He was a person heavily involved in criminal activity and most likely, he knew his killers. Street crime has taken a heavy toll on the Baez family. They have suffered the loss of two sons to gun violence in Hartford in the span of a year.
On May 10, 2002 Harry Baez was murdered on Center Street also in the North end of Hartford. Their murders were less than one mile apart in a neighborhood where they were known to frequent. The murder of Harry Baez is also unsolved and that is a terrible burden for any parent or family member to bear.
The murder of Benjamin Baez was a violent act of a reckless killer. His murder was devastating for his family especially since no one has been brought to justice for either murder. People know who killed Benjamin and it is these witnesses that must come forward to help solve this crime.
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By Christopher J. Lyons