Shootings by New Britain police remain focus of probe

Published on Tuesday, 9 January 2018 23:08
Written by LISA BACKUS


NEW BRITAIN - The investigation into a Dec. 14 police shooting in which a suspect was killed is continuing, but no new information is being released.

Police Chief James Wardwell said the department is continuing to “fully cooperate” with the investigation into the shootings. “It is our intent to be as transparent as possible,” Wardwell said Tuesday. “It’s important to understand that 100 percent of this investigation is happening outside of this agency. We are providing all physical evidence, testimony, anything that has been requested has been turned over.”

Police fired on three robbery suspects as they allegedly tried to flee by driving their car toward the officers.

One of the suspects, 20-year-old Zoe Dowdell, was killed. A 15-year-old, who is not being named, was also injured, and 18-year-old Noah Young, of Bloomfield, was grazed by a bullet.

State police have said New Britain officers were outside their vehicles with guns drawn when the Toyota Paseo Dowdell was driving began heading toward them, “causing them to fire their weapons.” Five New Britain officers fired their guns during the incident. State police who are conducting the criminal investigation into the shooting have not released any further information in the case.

Under state law, the investigation into the police shooting was turned over to a state’s attorney from a different jurisdiction, in this case Middlesex State’s Attorney Peter McShane. At McShane’s instruction, New Britain city officials have not released any information, 911 calls or videos related to the robberies or the shootings. McShane did not return phone calls Tuesday.

Dowdell, the 15-year-old and Young were considered suspects in four city robberies in the weeks before the shootings. In one robbery, a suspect fired a gun at the car as the intended victim fled. Within the same hour, a second victim was pistol-whipped during a separate robbery.

Police believe the green Toyota Paseo that Dowdell was driving the evening of Dec. 14 was involved in the robberies. Officers spotted the Paseo in the area of Chapman Street and boxed the car in. Young told state police investigators that the three had bought heroin in New Britain and didn’t want to be arrested, so they tried to flee. Young has denied any involvement in the robberies and said the night of Dec. 14 was the first time he had been in Dowdell’s car. At least one gun was found in the vehicle, police said. The 15-year-old had ammunition and drugs in his pockets. He and Young were arrested the day after the incident. The teen is facing weapons and drug charges.

Young was charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of narcotics and risk of injury to a child. He was held on $1 million bond following his arraignment in New Britain Superior Court the day after the shooting. He is scheduled to make his first appearance in the felony where his case was transferred today.

Lisa Backus can be reached at 860-801-5066 or

Posted in New Britain Herald, New Britain on Tuesday, 9 January 2018 23:08. Updated: Tuesday, 9 January 2018 23:11.