Hartford PD: Man arrested after allegedly shooting at a police officer Tuesday morning

Hartford

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – Hartford police have arrested a man accused of shooting at a police officer on Tuesday morning, who is believed to be the suspect in the city’s latest homicide.

Around 1:30 a.m., a Hartford Police officer was working patrol in the parking lot of 1921 Main Street. While in the cruiser, the officer was approached by a man, who was later identified as 31-year-old Jose Cajigas. He allegedly walked up to the cruiser.

RELATED: Norwich PD identifies suspect arrested for shooting at a police officer

The officer engaged Cajigas in a conversation and later requested an ambulance after the officer believed he was intoxicated or in need of medical assistance.

According to Hartford Police, while the officer was continuing to speak with Cajigas, without provocation, he produced a firearm and shot through the driver’s side window of the cruiser, narrowly missing the officer. The driver’s side window was shattered and the officer suffered abrasions to her face.

The officer was able to maneuver her cruiser to avoid further assault, which is when Cajigas fled on foot. After a short pursuit, Cajigas was taken into custody.

The officer was brought to the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. The department is not releasing the name of the officer but says she has two years on the job.

“It’s clear that the intent of the individual who committed this crime was to kill one of our officers,” said Mayor Luke Bronin.

Hartford Police Chief Jason Thody released a statement saying, “This was an unprovoked attack on one of our officers that was trying to provide assistance to her attacker. It puts a spotlight on the dangers police officers face, even in some of the most routine situations. I am thankful that she showed bravery and quick thinking to escape her attacker while keeping him in sight until her fellow officers could assist. All of the officers involved did an outstanding job in taking a dangerous individual into custody, making our community a safer place, and ensuring that all of our officers went home safe at the end of the shift.”

“She is definitely a hero, something the younger generation should be looking up to, and thank God she made it home OK and that the rest of the C squad officers made it home OK,” said Officer Anthony Rinaldi, police union president.

Police determined that Cajigas was a person of interest in the city’s most recent homicide on Spring Street. On Monday, police responded to Spring Street where they found 53-year-old Catherine Hays dead inside an apartment. Police believe that Cajigas is in fact responsible for Hays’ death.

RELATED: Hartford PD identifies woman found dead in Spring Street apartment

According to police, he has a long criminal history including firearm, robbery, and narcotics violations. He has been arrested 13 times in Hartford alone.

Cajigas was most recently arrested on Oct. 15 for violation of probation and was found to be in possession of a firearm.

“11 days ago our police officers arrested this individual for illegal possession of a firearm. He remained out. Yesterday he murdered somebody and attempted to assassinate a police officer,” Bronin said.

He was given a $2 million bond.  

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