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Bridgeport sees five shootings in one night over Memorial Day weekend

Mayor Joe Ganim speaks to reporters about the violence over Memorial Day Weekend. Behind him, the city's state legislative delegation, Governor Ned Lamont, activists, and police watch.
Molly Ingram
/
WSHU
Mayor Joe Ganim speaks to reporters about the violence over Memorial Day Weekend. Behind him, the city's state legislative delegation, Governor Ned Lamont, activists, and police watch.

Bridgeport, Connecticut, saw five shootings in one night over the holiday weekend. The violence prompted a visit from Governor Ned Lamont, as well as a press conference from city and state officials, on Tuesday morning.

The shootings come as gun violence rates in the state’s biggest cities are declining, according to Bridgeport Police Chief Roderick Porter.

“We have not seen this current level of violence in recent times here in Bridgeport,” Porter said. “And we're committed to ensuring that we continue to make progress and not let these things be commonplace in Bridgeport.”

Three of the shootings took place at the PT Barnum housing complex — police say they’re connected. The other two were near Ezra and Holly Streets.

Lamont said he came to Bridgeport to stand with the community.

“The state is with you, our state police are with you, obviously the community is with you,” Lamont said. “ We’re doing everything we can to make sure you feel safe in your hometown.”

One victim was shot in the face and neck. She is in critical but stable condition. Another was shot in the groin — he was also seriously injured.

The three shootings at PT Barnum resulted in non-fatal injuries.

Mayor Joe Ganim said the shootings marked a grim start to the summer season, but reiterated that city officials would work to ensure the violence does not continue through the upcoming months.

An evening like we saw this past weekend will not be tolerated in the city of Bridgeport. If you think you're going to tote a gun and be able to shoot it freely, especially where it has an impact and takes down victims. We're going to focus on you,” Ganim said.

“We're going to lock you up and send a message out to the people of the city of Bridgeport: no one deserves to live in a neighborhood, in a building, in a city, where shots are fired and where they can be a victim or someone in their family or friends can be a victim.”

State and city officials speak about the five shootings in Bridgeport over Memorial Day Weekend.
Molly Ingram
/
WSHU
State and city officials speak about the five shootings in Bridgeport over Memorial Day Weekend.

Police say investigations are ongoing, and they have an increased presence in some areas. No arrests had been made as of Tuesday morning.

“We're working with our state and federal partners as well to provide coverage to certain areas of Bridgeport,” Porter said. “But we what we're doing and what we've been doing is we've been strategic. So we target specific individuals who are known to us and who are prone to violence. And we're specifically targeting those with all of our efforts with all of our different tools and resources with our different partners, whether it be state or federal.”

Community activists at the press conference pleaded with parents to make sure their children aren’t keeping weapons.

Dawn Spearman, who founded You Are Not Alone (YANA) to support the parents of gun violence victims, said keeping the city safe is the responsibility of everyone.

“We can't take back our streets,” Spearman said. “But parents, what we can do is go look in the closets and look in the drawers. The guns are being held somewhere. I, too, have been one of those parents who had to look in my closets. And I'm not exempt from any of this. So this is why I can stand here because I stand on your level.”

Anyone with information about the shootings is asked to contact the city’s police department.

Molly is a reporter covering Connecticut. She also produces Long Story Short, a podcast exploring public policy issues across Connecticut.