New Haven police announce arrest in July shooting that killed Hamden father

New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Police continue their crackdown on gun crime in the city. Wednesday, the department announced an arrest in the summer shooting of a Hamden father.

Police say the victim, 40-year-old Howard Lewis, was not the intended target when he was shot while sitting in a car with his family on Munson Street.

Wednesday, the family thanked officers for their diligent detective work.

“Great work, great job,” said Lewis’s mother, father and wife.

Police say 22-year-old Jaison Flowers shot Lewis in the chest as Lewis sat in a parked car on Munson Street during the beginning of what turned out to be an especially violent July night in New Haven. Another person was killed and two other shootings were reported in other parts of the city.

“You deserve that sense of justice but you never deserved what happened to Mr. Lewis,” Mayor Justin Elicker told Lewis’ family during the announcement of the arrest.

“Lewis was not the intended target,” said Assistant Chief Karl Jacobson. 

Over five months, police pulled surveillance video and interviewed numerous witnesses. Detectives have not said what prompted Flowers to open fire in broad daylight, with children playing on a football field within the line of fire. Lewis’s son and brother were also in the car and survived the shooting.

“We know this doesn’t bring Mr. Lewis back but we hope the department has brought you a measure of closure.”

The arrest is part of NHPD’s larger crackdown on soaring homicides and street violence. It follows a series of warrants and grand jury indictments announced earlier in the week, takedowns focused on suspects believed to be the main drivers behind a large part of the city’s crime problem.

Police Chief Otoniel Reyes and Mayor Justin Elicker also had a message for the many other victims and families torn apart by this year’s uptick in gun violence — like the family of Army Private First Class DJ Coward, whose September slaying remains unsolved. News 8 first brought you his family’s plea for help on Monday.

Related: ‘Don’t give up because we’re not giving up’: New Haven PD address how it’s working to curb rise in violent crime in the city

“We do not give up on these cases. We will continue working on them, and our goal is to bring justice to every family that has lost a loved one in our city,” said Chief Reyes.

“There are many families out there that don’t have that sense of closure and my heart goes out to them as well. I know our team is going to be working very tirelessly to ensure they have that sense of justice as well,” said Mayor Elicker.

Flowers is held on $1 million  bond. He remains in custody on a parole violation, and will be arraigned for the alleged murder of Howard Lewis.

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