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Police: Fatal shootings of toddler, teen appear related

April 12, 2021 GMT

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Police in Connecticut’s capital city believe separate shootings over the weekend that killed a 3-year-old boy and a 16-year-old boy were related.

Hartford Police Chief Jason Thody said Monday that investigators have found connections between the shootings, which happened about two hours apart on Saturday afternoon in the city’s North End. He did not provide details on the connections.

No arrests have been announced, but Thody said city police “will continue to devote every resource to bring the perpetrators to justice.”

Police said Randell Jones, 3, was riding in a car with his mother, other relatives and a man when another vehicle pulled along side them and someone opened fire. Randell died in the shooting, which appeared to have targeted the man in the car, police said. No one else was hurt. The shooter’s car was stolen, authorities said.

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Later in the afternoon, 16-year-old Jamari Preston, of New Britain, was shot to death less than a mile away from the first shooting.

State, city and community leaders expressed anger over the shootings and called for witnesses to come forward and communities to come together to stop the violence.

“We’re working with the religious community. We’re working with families. We’re working with Project Longevity. We’re working with community groups to reduce the tension and the risk out there,” Gov. Ned Lamont said. “There’s not a big spike in violence, necessarily, around the state or around the country, but it’s something we take very seriously. I know what it means to a community.”