WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — Waterbury police are investigating after three men were shot Tuesday evening, according to authorities.
Officers identified the victims as a 43-year-old, a 42-year-old, and a 26-year-old, all from Waterbury. Their names have not yet been released.
Waterbury police said they were sent to Otto’s Convenience Store and Smoke Shop, located at 496 West Main St., for a call about shots being fired.
The three shooting victims were taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, and all three remain in critical condition, officers said in a press release Wednesday.
A witness told News 8 she heard what sounded like mini explosions going off around 4:30 p.m.
“I was across the street in front of the bodega and I heard like 10 gunshots it just kept going off and off and off and off, and then probably three minutes later all of a sudden a bunch of police cars just started coming down,” Julia Belmonte said.
News 8 cameras captured five bullet holes in the glass door of Otto’s Convenience Store and Smoke Shop as well as two that went through a car door. Shell casings and bolts could also be seen at the shop’s entrance.
The triple shooting caused witnesses to fear for their own safety after the shooting.
“It was nerve-racking to me that there were a bunch of gunshots while I’m just standing here on the street in Waterbury, what if I was walking down the alleyway,” Belmonte said.
Sonny Keeler, who is friends with the business owner, was working when the shooting happened.
He said that there was an argument before shots were fired.
“I’m not sure if it took place inside or outside,” Keeler said. “That person left, and, obviously, came back with a gun.”
Maimouna Camara said she’s not surprised by the violence. Her family owns a hair salon in the area.
“There’s always a shooting nearby, like anything close to this radius of area,” she said. “Somebody is always getting shot.”
Across the street, a 38-year-old man was shot and killed in September. The bar’s liquor license was suspended indefinitely due to the history of violence.
Waterbury has had five shootings in the last two months alone.
“Hopefully, things can be better,” Keeler said. “Hopefully, Waterbury starts to get better.”
In the meantime, Camara stresses the importance of being aware.
“You can be at the wrong place, at the wrong time,” she said. “And it could’ve been anybody else that got shot.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the police at (203) 574-6941 or Crime Stoppers at (203) 755-1234.