NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The City of New Haven unveiled its re-established Shooting Task Force Tuesday, pooling resources with Meriden, Hamden, East Haven, and West Haven, along with the State’s Attorney and ATF.
The task force will take a second look at cold case shootings and reports of shots fired to take guns and suspects off of the streets.
It’s giving hope to some families News 8 spoke with.
“If you would have met him, you’d have seen, he lit up the whole room,” said Malika Reddick, describing her son Semaj Reddick of Hamden.
At 18-years-old, Semaj was gunned down over Memorial Day Weekend on Circular Avenue in Hamden. His mother believes the shooters may have been from New Haven. She’d moved out of that city to start her family, hoping for a better life in Hamden.
“It seemed like the violence was still coming here. I guess violence is everywhere, it depends. But I didn’t know it was going to end up like this,” she said.
The Reddicks are hopeful their son’s killer will soon be caught. They are hoping the new regional task force will help theirs and other families get justice for their loved ones.
“We are going to be able to reduce the violence, not just in the city but in surrounding communities, that are feeling the effects of this increase in violence,” said New Haven Acting Police Chief Renee Dominguez at a press conference Tuesday.
The team will consist of 12 members dedicated to solving cold case shootings, and shots fired incidents where no one was hit. Dominguez says those shootings are often harbingers of violence to come.
“If you shoot in New Haven, you will be held accountable and we will bring you to justice. So stop shooting,” said New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker.
“The borders are silly. We are all in this together. Greater New Haven sinks or swims as one large community,” said Hamden Mayor Curt Leng.
“We’re no longer waiting. We’re able to get on this immediately. Within 24 hours we’re going to know if what happened the day before in our town or another town is related,” said Dominguez.
“I hope they do crack down on this and get this stuff off of the street. Because it’s too much. It’s too much. A lot of parents are losing their kids and that’s not normal. It’s not normal for a parent to bury their kid,” said Reddick.