BERLIN - Neighbors are stunned that a man was shot Tuesday night at Fieldstone Crossing, a Deming Road apartment complex known for its quiet atmosphere.
The man was shot multiple times but is expected to survive, said state police who were asked by New Britain State’s Attorney Brian Preleski to take over the investigation. A member of the State Police Central District Major Crime Squad was walking door to door Tuesday morning asking residents what they saw and heard at about 9:18 p.m. when the shooting occurred.
“We were watching TV downstairs and my son was upstairs in my bedroom,” said one woman who declined to be identified. “I heard shots and ran upstairs, grabbed him and threw him on the floor. I was so scared.”
Her apartment is across the parking lot from Unit 313 where the man was shot. The woman said she looked out the window and saw a black car leaving the complex and a man was yelling that he had been shot. She then shut the windows and shades so that her children could sleep as police began their investigation. Her children and others frequently play outside and she knows most of her neighbors, she said “It’s pretty scary especially since it was about 100 yards from our window,” she said.
State police are offering few details about the shooting other than saying it’s still under investigation and that there is no threat to the public. “This incident does not appear to be a random act,” state police said.
The shots could be heard for two miles. When Berlin police arrived after receiving a report of gunshots in the area they found a man bleeding with multiple gunshot wounds on the ground. The door at Unit 313 is decorated for fall with pumpkins and colorful chrysanthemums. A woman, a man and a child had moved into the apartment about two months ago, neighbors said. Sources said a man pulled up to the complex, knocked on the door and started shooting.
Police Commission Chair Robert Peters said he was told the shooting was “domestic” related.
It was the third incident of gunfire in Berlin on or near the Berlin Turnpike in less than three months - a sobering milestone for the town of 20,000. In early July a clerk at the Days Inn on the Berlin Turnpike was shot and killed by a man state police said was high on drugs. Less than two weeks ago, a road rage incident on the Berlin Turnpike resulted in gunfire. No one was injured. “No I never have,” said Peters, a 28-year veteran of the local police department who retired a few decades ago, when asked if he’s seen a similar spat of gunfire in town. “It’s a whole new world out there. People would just as soon shoot you as speak to you.”
Gideon Okwara was in his apartment across the parking lot Tuesday night listening to music, watching television and playing with his son when his wife called. “She was supposed to be home at 9:30 p.m. but she called and asked what’s going on because they wouldn’t let her into the driveway,” Okwara said. “I told her I didn’t know because I was listening to music and had the television on.”
He later learned that it was a shooting. “There are a lot of kids playing here during the daytime,” he said. “Last night I was so angry. I’ve lived here almost two years. Why here? I’m so disappointed. Everyone who comes to visitcomments on what a beautiful unit it is.”
State police are asking anyone who may have information on the shooting to call the Central District Major Crime Squad at 860706-5652 or text TIP711 and the information to 274637.
All calls or texts will be kept confidential.