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18-year-old Hartford resident arrested in connection with shots fired at unmarked car

HARTFORD -- New details about the suspect police say shot at two Hartford officers in an unmarked car on Tuesday. 

The 18-year-old Alijay Wallen faced his charges in court Wednesday morning.

Police explained in a news conference  the officers in the violent crimes unit were familiar with Wallen and he was considered a person of interest in recent gun related crimes in the area.

Police do not believe Wallen knew the people in the car were officers.

“That individual is known to us in regards to local street gangs in that area so there’s a potential maybe he thought it was rival gang or what not,” Hartford Lt. Paul Cicero said.

The officers were not hurt  but an officer in trouble call went out leading to a major response to the area and a call for residents to stay in place. Wallen initially got away but officers later found him at a home in Manchester around 2:40 the next morning.

Police said Facebook is what led the officers to the neighborhood in the first place.

According to the arrest warrant detectives came across a Facebook picture of three people,  one of them, believed to be Wallen,  holding guns.

“Conducting a proactive firearm investigation due to an increase of gunfire and firearm related crimes occurring in that specific area,” said Cicero. 

The two officers were able to identify Wallen as the person who shot at them through photographs and surveillance video.

“We are here for the community and we try to make the community as safe as possible and we do conduct these investigations routinely,” Lt. Cicero said.

Wallen is charged with criminal attempt in the first degree, unlawful discharge and carrying a pistol. He is due back in court December 11th.

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