NEW HAVEN -- Police are investigating after a New Haven teen was shot Thursday evening. Police are looking for at least one suspect and no arrests have been made.
Police say they located Derrick Smith, 18, who was suffering from two gunshot wounds. According to New Haven Public School officials, the teen is a student at Hillhouse High School and plays football there.
Around 7:15 p.m., police were called to Ellsworth Avenue for a separate incident and heard gunshots, according to Officer David Hartman. As police approached the area, they saw two men running across the street. Officers continued on Stanley Street where they found several bullet holes in the window of a parked, empty car.
During their search, police and a K-9 found Derrick Smith, 18, in a nearby yard. He had been shot in the stomach and thigh and was taken to Yale New Haven Hospital. A gun was found nearby, police added. Smith is listed in stable condition.
Police said one of the men who they saw fleeing the scene got away, but the other was detained and questioned. They are looking for a man with a medium black complexion who stands about 5’09”. He is thin and had his hair in short braids. He wore a black hooded sweatshirt with white draw-strings and black or dark blue jeans.
Police said there is surveillance video related to the case and they believe it will produce some additional leads.
The school system said they are initiating emergency YouthStat protocol to respond to the shooting. YouthStat began in 2014 after a pair of homicides involving two teenagers shook the city.
"Right now our main concern ensuring all our students in the school are safe, making sure we can continue to support and communicate with the student's family and helping our students cope with this incident," Superintendent Harries said in a statement. "Last night, District and school administrators were on site with the family to represent the district's ongoing support through the situation. We immediately initiated YouthStat because this is when our at-risk students need that kind of tailored engagement the most. Today and over the weekend we will continue doing all we can to support the student's family as well as the community, and we're hoping for a safe and speedy recovery."
Less than 24 hours after the shooting, the Hillhouse Football team had a home game at Bowen Field. Smith's name wasn't mentioned during the game's opening announcements, but he was on many people's minds.
Harries told FOX 61, "The athletic director spoke to the team. The coach spoke to the team. They're psyched to play, but obviously they've got one of their guys who's down, and they're still figuring out what that's about, what the circumstances of that were."
"They were very shaken up about it, and I think me being a grandparent, I felt the same way. I felt their pain and their anger about what's going on," said Ann Boyd, whose grandson is a teammate of Smith's.
She said, "I hope he's restored to the very best of health and I hope to see him back on the football field."
Police are asking anyone with information on this crime or who may have witnessed the shooting, to phone detectives at 203-946-6304.