HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Hartford police are investigating the city’s second homicide of the week and 30th of the year.
Police responded to Orange Street around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday for reports of shots fired. Officers found 24-year-old Andre Gaston of Hartford suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
“Based on the evidence we have so far, there was no mistake that this was a personal attack,” Hartford police Lt. Aaron Boisvert said.
Police said a witness captured the incident on video, which shows Gaston making a drug deal with two people in a car. A second car then arrives and three people jumped out, unleashing a barrage of bullets before taking off.
“I can tell you we’re very confident we captured the suspect’s vehicle on camera,” Boisvert said.
About an hour later, a car matching the description of the second vehicle was found in Windsor and had been set on fire, according to Hartford police. Boisvert said the car involved in the drug deal was not involved in the shooting, but investigators are working to confirm if the second vehicle was.
“There’s some testing that needs to be done, some analysis that needs to be done, but there’s a good chance that it is,” Boisvert said.
A memorial in honor of Gaston continues to grow on Orange Street. News 8 spoke with Gaston’s nephew Wednesday afternoon.
“I know people say this a lot when people pass away, but my uncle had a great heart,” Vonyea Williams said. “He would do anything for anyone. That’s how he was raised, that’s what we come from. At the end of the day, they can live, they can talk to their family. My uncle is dead. We ain’t going to be able to call him, we can’t text him.”
In the same neighborhood, an attempted carjacking led to a deadly shooting on Park Street Monday afternoon.
“A lot of homicides we’re seeing are personal, very personal disputes,” Boisvert said. “I can’t tell you why we’re seeing this.”
Boisvert said the two recent homicides are not connected.
“They’re in close proximity to each other, but they have nothing to do with one another,” he said.
Organizations like Roca are working to combat violence in the community. Roca staff met with several community partners, agencies, and women they serve and help on Wednesday to find out what can be done for young people.
“We have a group of young people, not just at Roca, but in the community who are stuck with this unaddressed trauma and who are reacting out of a sense of self-preservation, whether that’s right or wrong, and don’t have resources or a clear way out,” said Sunindiya Bhalla, executive vice president of Roca’s Women & 2Gen. “In order to heal, trust, feel safe, and learn emotional regulation skills, so they can take even just an 8-10 second pause before they’re reacting when they’re triggered by a situation.”
Police ask anyone with information on the Orange Street homicide to call the Hartford Police Department Tip Line at 860-722-TIPS (8477).