Hartford police investigating homicide; good Samaritan recalls trying to save victim’s life

Hartford

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Hartford police are still looking for the gunman who shot a killed a 21-year-old man in broad daylight on Friday.

The incident happened just after 11 a.m. in the area of 267 Fairfield Avenue. The shooting and ongoing investigation caused two schools and a day care in the city’s south end to go into lockdown.

A good Samaritan told News 8 he just happened to be driving by when the saw the man, later identified as Alexis Ortiz, bleeding on the street.

“He was stumbling and falling into the bush and stuff like that,” Jay said. “When he fell, he kind of turned over and I seen blood on his side. “I asked him if he was OK, and I got no response from him.”

Jay said he and an off duty police officer tried to help the man as they called for help.

Watch: Witness who says he helped gunshot victim tells the story

“We pressed his wounds, put some gauze on his wounds and gave him oxygen. He was passing out, and I kept shaking him to wake up. He was very pale, and every time he closed his eyes, I shook him up to wake up.

Police said the officer saw the potential suspect(s) runaway so he dragged the victim away and administered oxygen and compression to several gunshot wounds to the victim while maintaining
communication with dispatch.

The pair with some other civilians then helped put the man into an ambulance that took him to Hartford Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 11:45 a.m.

While they were tending to the victim, officers were scouring the area, looking for the gunman, who they believed ran into a house.

Several people from the house were removed by officers. Six children — mostly infants and toddlers — were removed from the home as well.

As the tactical team took the kids to a safe zone, major crimes was called in along with several police canines.

Watch: Children evacuated from Hartford home at center of homicide investigation

News 8 was on the scene when it intensified during the early afternoon. Hartford police expanded the area they had blocked off and were talking with someone inside the home with a bullhorn.

Police originally believed that person may have been a suspect in the shooting, but that was not the case.

“The officers immediately rushed in and took the children as well as a guardian an aunt, I believe, and brought them to safety,” said Lieutenant Paul Cicero, Hartford Police Department. “They stayed in one of our trucks here until the mother could respond and take her children, but everybody was safe.”

Police said the neighborhood around the home will be blocked off all night and are asking people to detour around the area.

Police now believe the shooter has fled the area.

“At this time, we do believe it was very targeted,” Cicero said. “There were two cars that had gunfire, and we believe both of these vehicles were involved in the specific altercation. We did find quite a bit of evidence.”

According to police, due to that investigation, Highland Daycare, Bellizzi Middle School, and E. B. Kennelly School were on lockdown for several hours. The lockdown was lifted just after 1:30 p.m.

They said the school lockdowns were strictly precautionary, and that they were erring on the side of caution.

Witnesses in the area reported hearing upwards of 10 shots fired. Police confirmed that Shot Spotter counted 11 shots in total.

Police have one person in custody; however, officers are saying it is only a person of interest.

They believe the shooting was a targeted, isolated shooting involving several individuals who are known to each other.

The Hartford Police Major Crimes Division and Crime Scene Division have assumed control of the
investigation. Those with information are asked to contact police at (860) 722-TIPS (8477).

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