SOUTHINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) — The latest on a string of shots fired at buildings in Southington over the weekend. Police say a shooting at a church in Cromwell appears to be related. Residents in the area we spoke to Tuesday say they are surprised it happened in their town.
Bullets hit four homes in Southington Sunday, all of those homes had people inside. On one of those homes, bullet markings could be seen next to the bedroom windows.
“You think, geez, it’ll never happen to me but here it is right at your doorstep,” said resident Richard Harris. “It’s just hard to fathom. It just hits so close to home.”
Bullets hit down the street at the gas station where Harris works.
“Between 12 to 15, 16 rounds were fired at each one of the locations,” said Lt. Egan of Southington Police.
Gunfire pierced the glass at Harris’ gas station, at the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-Day Saints up the road, and in other locations outside Southington.
This church is where 74-year-old Douglas Floyd Gollnick of Plantsville – the suspect arrested in connection to the string of shootings – had been a parishioner for several years ago, said Southington PD.
On Tuesday, crews at a church of the same name in Cromwell were cleaning up the damage. Cromwell Police released a statement that the incident there is related to the incident at the church in Southington.
Multiple agencies teamed up to catch the 74-year-old on the Arigoni Bridge in Middletown Sunday night.
Tuesday, News 8 asked police about a possible connection to both churches.
“There were associates that he had longtime dealings with. Apparently, he had some type of issues with those people,” said Lt. Egan. “Some of these people are reporting they had some issues with him, but these issues date back 20 to 30 years. These appear to be longtime grievances that he has with these people.”
At this point, police are not looking at this as a hate crime.
“These are individual grievances not anything related to the church,” said Lt. Egan.
Cromwell police say the gunfire there happening while people were inside but no one was hurt.
Harris considers himself and his coworkers lucky — the gas station was shot at when the business was closed.
“The bullets were flying through the garage doors. Thank God nobody was there,” said Harris.
Harris says he knows the suspect in custody; they repaired his car a couple weeks ago.
As the investigation continues, people in two towns are thankful a suspect is off the streets — in the hospital.
“When I heard he was caught I was very relieved,” said Harris.