HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — State Capitol Police, along with Connecticut State Police and Hartford Police, are investigating after multiple bullet holes were found at the State Capitol Tuesday morning.
Police said bullet holes were discovered on the south side of the Capitol building at around 9:15 a.m.
Three bullet holes shattered glass windows and a hanging light sconce on the front of the State Capitol. It’s the side facing the State Supreme Court.
Police said no one was injured and there is no current danger.
Police now say it is connected to a similar incident over Memorial Day weekend in nearby Southington.
Those shots-fired incidents include a gas station, four homes in Southington, and two churches (one in Southington and one in Cromwell).
Wednesday, Brian Foley from Connecticut State Police updated News 8 saying, “The shooting at the capital is directly tied in to the shootings in Southington, and at this point the person involved in that, we know the person involved in that and is in custody.”
Police were able to use their network of ShotSpotter antennas and security cameras to determine when and where the shots were fired from.
Foley said, “That information is put against the hundreds and hundreds of cameras in the downtown area, that tells you exactly who did it. So it pinpoints a time and location, new track them on camera, I don’t have that data with me but yes.”
State Police and prosecutors are talking about the potential for extra charges for suspect 74-year-old Douglas Floyd Gollnick of Plantsville because it was a state building.
Investigators have collected evidence and it is being sent to the state police crime lab.
We will know more about the charges when they make it official arrest.
The State Capitol Police, Connecticut State Police, and Hartford Police shut down Capitol Avenue Tuesday to investigate, calling it “a suspicious incident”.
News 8 cameras caught Governor Ned Lamont and Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz on their way into the building Tuesday. They spoke with a heavily armed Capitol Police Officer.
And several tourists from Washington D.C. didn’t seem phased taking selfies outside the marble building until News 8 Chief Political Correspondent Jodi Latina told them what happened.
“Were you surprised to hear that somebody shot bullets bullet into the windows last night?” asked Latina. Marinetti Tomary remarked, “Oh no we didn’t know that; we didn’t know anything!”
Meriem Guiral added, “It’s scary it’s not safe – it’s a government building that they are targeting. It’s not safe.”
News 8 was inside when Connecticut State Police Major Crimes Detectives and special forensic experts were combing the scene. After hours on scene, an alert finally went out to lawmakers and staff. It read in part -“no reason to believe the complex was in any danger.”
All the while, lawmakers just a few floors up debated bills and held press conferences.
House Speaker Matt Ritter (D-Hartford) said he felt safe inside the building: “As always we feel safe in here. It’s crazy.” He added that officials believe the shooting happened late Monday night.
News 8 has learned there is $2-million in the state budget currently being negotiated to repair capitol security cameras and emergency call boxes.
Though he once voted against the security upgrades a decade ago, State Rep. Vin Candelora the Republican House Minority Leader, said Tuesday, “I’m starting to realize, sadly, that it is a reflection of where we are as a society and we do need to make sure we have appropriate protections in place.”
Sources tell us after the January 6, 2021 attack on the nation’s Capitol in Washington D.C. – a major plan to upgrade security at Connecticut’s Capitol was given to legislative management.
It’s unclear whether that spending will be approved. Though, after this incident, the measure is said to be on the minds of many.