NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — One community leader is calling for New Haven City Hall to take action after a weekend of violence left a promising young boxer dead and five others wounded.
Critics say they fear the city is returning to a level of violence not seen in years.
Exclusive eyewitness video obtained by News 8 shows the moment chaos erupted on Rosette Street late Saturday night. On it, you can hear the burst of gunfire that left five people wounded and 28-year-old Dayshon Smith dead.
Monday, candles marked a memorial outside the gym where the promising boxer was known as “Superfreak” in the ring.
“We need to deal with poverty in this city. We need to deal with crime in this city. We have to deal with education in this city. We have to deal with jobs in this city. Nobody is offering poor people, or people living in poverty, a way out,” said Rev. Dr. Boise Kimber of First Calvary Baptist Church Monday.
Back on Rosette Street, the crime scene tape has been piled into a garbage bin, and a single candle sits down the block from a memorial to another murdered man from last month. Kimber says the police chief has been hamstrung by budget cuts that have left fewer officers on the street.
“You want [Chief Otoniel Reyes] to make miracles? It won’t happen,” said Kimber.
Mayor Justin Elicker visited the rain-soaked scene Sunday.
“I don’t blame people. It’s very challenging times with everything going on dealing with this type of situation as well,” Mayor Justin Elicker said there.
Kimber says city hall has to do more to tackle the problems he believes is leading to bloodshed. He fears idle hands as young people face an uncertain start to the school year and the city cancels almost all fall school sports due to COVID-19 concerns.
“Naturally, being a preacher, you’re going to say ‘go pray.’ But when you get through praying what can you do? There has to be some kind of help,” said Kimber.