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Quiet Hamden neighborhood reacts to large party, shooting on Friday night

HAMDEN — People in a quiet Hamden neighborhood are reeling over an out-of-control house party that resulted in gunshots and people being sent to the hospital.

The messy aftermath of a house party gone out-of-control on Choate Avenue Friday night showed trash littered across an entire backyard and all over the street.

But, that’s not the worst of it. Neighbors tell FOX61 that the sidewalk in front of the house is where five people ended up being shot and injured after police tried to break up the party.

“You had to be here really to see it,” said Beverly, a neighbor who witnessed the party. “You thought you were in a movie. That’s how bad it was.”

Beverly saw the moments when police tried to break up the rowdy Hamden party. She heard the gunshots. Beverly didn’t want to be on camera, but she told FOX61 what she saw happen.

“Boom, boom, boom,” said Beverly. “My son got up [and said] those were shots.”

The entire night was chaos, but this is usually a quiet neighborhood

“This is the way it always is 24/7, 365,” said Joe Weisburch, who lives in the neighborhood.

Police said they documented 500 people at the party when they got there at 8:45 Friday night.

“It was a lot of people,” says one person who was at the party. “A lot of people kept coming in. There was like water guns and then police showed up. Some kids left, but then [police left], and then everything started going downhill from there.”

Police responded to the house for a second time when the shooting happened. The first time, police say they saw a large number of people, but determined the music was not unreasonably loud and the homeowners and guests were cooperative.

“They were here very early and they wouldn’t do [anything] because they had the fireworks,” said Beverly. The Hamden Independence Day Fireworks happened at Town Center Park that evening.

” It was totally ridiculous; the taxes we pay,” said Beverly. “You get the cops up here. You’ve got 200 to 300 kids. You’ve got families with kids. I say well look what’s going on. You got to do something.”

Police called backup from Cheshire, North Haven, and State police after the shooting. One man who lives in the neighborhood tells FOX61 his daughter showed him pictures and videos of the party on social media.

“I’m not sure where all the people came from,” said Weisburch. “It was quite a shocking kind of disturbing situation that occurred.”

The party was advertised on social media as a pool themed party.

Mayor Leng posted on Facebook after he visited the neighborhood saying he is “deeply saddened, shocked and angry that it happened in our community.”

Police say the suspect in this shooting is still at-large. They say he is a light-skinned black man in his 20’s with facial hair on his chin.

Four of the victims were taken by ambulance to Yale New Haven Hospital. A fifth victim drove with a friend to the hospital.

The status of their injuries are unknown and police are not identifying them yet. They have released their ages and injuries:

18 year-old New Haven resident was shot in her right flank.
19 year-old Bridgeport resident was shot in her buttocks.
20 year-old New Haven resident shot in his arm.
21 year-old Hamden resident shot in her foot.
23 year-old New Haven resident shot in his thigh.

Police said on Saturday that three of the victims were released from the hospital. The two other victims were listed in critical condition.

Hamden police ask that anyone with information contact the Hamden Police Department Detective Division at (203) 230-4000. They also ask that any guests who were at the party and recorded the shooting or anyone who was at the party to contact them.

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