NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) -- A Mother's Day special will still be served at a New Haven pizza shop, despite a shooting that occurred there early Sunday morning.
The shooting happened just before 3 a.m., at Downtown Pizza, located at 182 Dixwell Ave.
The owner tells News 8 that he was finishing up a large order and getting ready to close up when a group of customers came in. He served them, then heard shots and ran to the back of the store to call 911.
Two men had gotten into an argument when one pulled out a gun, opening fire.
One male victim, 47-year-old Merlvin Daniels, was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital. News 8 is told the man underwent surgery and is in critical condition.
Police said information obtained from witnesses suggests that the suspect is a light to medium complexioned black man, approximately 6' tall and weighing between 200 and 230 lbs. His face is acne scarred.
The suspect was last seen wearing a dark-colored baseball cap, square framed eye glasses, a long sleeve grey shirt, dark blue jeans and dark-colored sneakers.
He was with another man described as a dark complexioned black man, short and thin, with short hair and scruffy facial hair. He was dressed in all black.
The two fled in a dark-colored four door sedan or possibly a station wagon. The car had dark tinted windows and aftermarket wheel rims.
The owner of Downtown Pizza, Abdul Mahmoud, says despite the shooting he intends to keep his promise and still offer a free slice to mom's from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
"Why still do it," asked News 8's Erin Cox.
"Because we keep the sign up for a long time and we just have to do it for Mother's Day, ya know," said Mahmoud, "have to do it, people are going to come."
The pizza place is a popular spot in the Dixwell Avenue neighborhood and having this kind of violence on Mother's Day hits a raw nerve for some.
"It could have been me, a flying bullet," said April Pearson, "something must be be done."
Valerie McKinnie and the non profit Right Way for kids is already working to keep youngsters in the neighborhood out of harms way.
Seeing crime tape on Dixwell Avenue yet again, her message on this Mother's Day is for mom's to get their kids enrolled in the city's summer youth programs.
"Sign these kids up for camp," said McKinnie. "They don't need to be out here where they can be innocent bystanders."
Registration for camps and other Park and Rec. programs is already underway. Find out more by visiting the city of New Haven's website .
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