WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The man who police say shot another man on the University of Saint Joseph campus faces multiple charges, including attempted murder.
During a press conference Monday, West Hartford police Lt. Thomas Lazure said the suspect, 22-year-old Darnell Barnes, was involved in an altercation over a relationship early Friday morning with another man and a female student who lived on campus. Police said the three knew each other.
Lazure said Barnes, who is not a university student, shot the other man on campus around 2:20 a.m. before both men took off in separate vehicles. Police said Barnes’ vehicle made contact with the victim’s vehicle, causing it to roll over on Albany Avenue near Bainton Road, and Barnes fired more shots.
The police lieutenant said the shooting victim is also not a student and is in his 20s. He was taken to a local hospital for non-life-threatening injuries and is expected to recover.
Court documents reveal Barnes was in the process of breaking up with his girlfriend, who is the female USJ student. Just before the shooting, court documents say Barnes repeatedly called the students, but she didn’t pick up as she was with someone else at a hotel in Southington.
When the student was dropped back off at her dorm, she told police, “Barnes comes out of nowhere and walked in front of the car…”
“It was a senseless act of violence,” Lazure said.
Massachusetts State Police found the car Barnes was driving, a Nissan Pathfinder with New Mexico plates, Friday afternoon on the westbound side of the Mass. Pike in Blandford. The vehicle was unoccupied.
After nearly three days on the run, Lazure said Barnes turned himself into Farmington police around 11:30 p.m. Sunday. West Hartford police then served Barnes with an arrest warrant for the shooting and crash.
Lazure said they have not located the 9-millimeter gun that investigators believe the suspect used in the shooting.
Lazure said Barnes fired “several” shots, adding, “by the grace of God, nobody died.”
“One thing that we will do in this agency is we will chase you to the end of this Earth to track you down if you commit a crime of violence here,” Lazure said.
Barnes is charged with attempted murder, first-degree assault, first-degree reckless endangerment, evading responsibility, unlawful discharge of a firearm, first-degree criminal mischief and second-degree assault with a motor vehicle.
During arraignment Monday, a judge raised his bond from $1 million to $2 million. He is due back in court on Dec. 1.
“Normally, when someone turns themselves in, it’s evidence they don’t constitute a flight risk,” said Attorney Jon Schoehorn.
The investigation is ongoing. The West Hartford Police Department asks that anyone who witnessed the incident call the department at 860-523-5203, the Tip Line at 860-570-8969, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.