BRIDGEPORT Patrols to increase after shooting
BRIDGEPORT — After a shooting late Thursday evening, officers will be stepping up patrols in the East End this weekend, police Chief Armando Perez said.
A man was grazed by a bullet on his leg and a woman was grazed by a bullet on her forehead, Perez said Friday.
Police responded to the intersection of Stratford and Union avenues around 11 p.m. for a report of shots fired. At that intersection sits Sunshine Deli, an establishment that has been a longtime problem for the East End.
“Thank God nobody got really hurt,” he said.
The cause of the shooting, Perez said, was tension between two separate violent groups from different areas of the city.
“It was a group from ... possibly a combination from Greene Homes and Trumbull Gardens and a group in the East End,” Perez said.
“It’s just a never-ending story of these violent groups that just cannot get along,” he added.
Perez said the Sunshine Deli is a popular meet up for a group in the East End.
The group that might have been from Greene Homes and Trumbull Gardens came by the area and fired shots at the East End group, Perez said. The two people hit were not expected to be affiliated with either group.
“When I heard about this, I became alarmed,” Perez said. “I called in the captains and the deputy chief and we’re upping patrols in that area this weekend. I’m going to be out there myself — even on Mother’s Day.”
Something that attributes to the trouble with the East End group, Perez said, is the Sunshine Deli. The deli’s owner faced scrutiny in mid-March, when police officials, community members and political leaders rallied at the deli, asking the owner to close up shop earlier.
The day of the rally, the owner agreed to start closing at 9 p.m. that evening. But, Perez said, the deli was open Thursday evening when the shooting took place.
“The store stays open too late,” he said. “I’m working with the health department ... to try to close that place down.”
Perez said he has a walking patrol of Trumbull Gardens nearly every morning. He wants residents to know the police department is working hard to keep them safe.
“I think it’s good to get out there, to let people see me, to see other officers,” he said.
In the last two weeks, Perez said, drugs and about seven guns have been taken off the streets in the Trumbull Gardens area.