New Haven mayor: Ex-cons behind recent violence

NEW HAVEN --  New Haven police said two men, ages 28 and 21, were treated for non-life-threatening injuries at Yale New Haven Hospital after a shooting Tuesday.

Police said the New Haven men were shot near Carmel and Percival Streets At around 11:30 a.m.

19-year-old Juwell Pagon of Hamden was shot once in the stomach near Munson Street and Winchester Avenue just before 4 a.m.

“I was woken up at 4 a.m. to someone that sounded like they were crying for help,” said Katie Hawley of New Haven. They were saying 'hey' you know in a really low voice.”

While Many community members said they are seeing a rise in recent shootings, New Haven Mayor Toni Harp said shootings in general are not up.

Police do confirm at least half a dozen shootings in the last week. However, Harp said there is a specific reason for this.

“A number of people who were incarcerated previously are now returning to our community and wanting to start back at some of the activity that got them incarcerated in the first place,” Harp said.

While there is not an increase in shootings in New Haven this year, Mayor Harp said homicides are on the rise.

“So last year we had five and so for this year we have eight,” Harp said.

As Outreach Director for the Connecticut Center for Nonviolence, part of Pastor John Lewis’ work includes teaching children nonviolence through martial arts.

He said another part of the problem is that many are not involved constructive activities that teach the same thing.

“Whether it’s working, job training, whether it’s something in the neighborhood that they can get involved with. Whether it’s a teen center,” Lewis said.

Mayor Harp said she asked the police chief to address the recent violence. Harp also said federal law enforcement officials are stepping in to help them.

“And his plan includes adding more walking beads more police visibility and those that we know were shooters getting the shooters off of the streets,” Harp said.

The recent violence comes after the city saw a drop in violent crimes last year and recorded one of the lowest homicide rates New Haven has seen in years.