New Britain fatal shooting

STAFF WRITER

NEW BRITAIN - Police are investigating a fatal shooting on Park Street in New Britain that was called in around 9 p.m. Tuesday. Police were still on the scene as of 3:30 a.m. this morning. Detectives will be back at daybreak to check the area for evidence, police said.

A man from the Hartford or Wethersfield area was shot outside during a family party that was taking place inside 396 Park St, Police Chief James Wardwell said. He was later pronounced dead at an area hospital.

People throughout the neighborhood could here five rapid-fire shots.

Friends of the victim's family say the 32-year-old man who was shot had gone outside to have a cigarette just before the family was about to sing happy birthday to his partner, who was turning 50. The family first thought someone was tapping on the air conditioning unit, but when they looked outside, they saw the man on the ground with at least one gunshot wound.

Friends said a friend of the victim was arrested by police after he became agitated and banged on a police cruiser. Family members are now trying to bail him out of jail.

"It appears he had stepped outside when he was shot," Capt. Thomas Steck said of the shooting victim. The shooter fled the area, Steck said. Witnesses from Hartford were interviewed shortly after the shooting, Steck said.

Area residents reported hearing gunfire and then seeing a heavy police presence. Dispatchers received three calls that gunfire had erupted around 9 p.m. and there was a man down, Steck said.

The back driveways of 396 to 402 Park St. was blocked with police tape early this morning. Officers have been patrolling the driveways since Tuesday night. The house where the shooting occurred is set back from the roadway, Wardwell said.

No suspects were in custody as of 6:30 a.m. Wardwell said. A person was arrested at the scene on unrelated charges, Wardwell said. The person was causing a disturbance when police arrived, Steck said, and was taken into custody. It is unclear if the man causing the disturbance was attending the party or arrived shortly after the shooting.

The shooting happened just as the National Night Out festivities designed to allow residents to interact with police were ending.

Check back for details.

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