NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – An early-morning bar fight escalated into a shooting that left one dead and another hospitalized, East Haven police said.
Police said that the shooting, which took place at BullsEye Billiards & Bar in East Haven on Saturday at around 1:30 a.m., began as a physical altercation. The argument then eventually escalated to a shooting.
Two victims were found on the scene and treated by East Haven Fire, officials stated. Both victims were transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital, where one later died.
This is the first time since 2020 that a homicide has happened in East Haven.
The deceased victim has been identified as 26-year-old Julius Bolden-Lowe of Southington, while the other victim is awaiting surgery for a gunshot wound to the face, but is in stable condition.
“We believe that the two people were involved in an altercation all night long, and it kind of festered throughout the night,” said East Haven Police Department Captain Joseph Murgo.
The fight eventually turned physical and led to a shooting near the pool table inside the packed bar. At this time it’s unclear if the men knew each other or if either of them fired the gun, but officers believe it was an isolated incident.
“What we’re focusing on is sifting through video surveillance and witness statements,” Murgo said.
Investigators said the business owner is cooperating and that they make a point to patrol the streets near local bars around closing time.
“Bars throughout town, they are challenging no matter which bar we’re talking about, so this is no different,” Murgo said. “We have incidents here, fights, et cetera.”
People who live in town who didn’t want to be identified have mixed reviews of BullsEye, with one telling News 8 they’re concerned that the business attracts a bad crowd.
Another said that the owners, “have worked very hard to make a very nice place for people to go and have a good time.”
The bar posted on its Facebook page that it was closed Saturday night, citing “unforeseen circumstances.” It also said they “have [worked] so hard to get where [they] are and all it takes is 1. It could happen anywhere.”
News 8 reached out to them for comment but hasn’t heard back at this time.
Family and friends of Julius weren’t ready to go on camera but said he was a hard worker, and a genuine and humble man loved by many.
State investigators are assisting East Haven with the investigation. If you have any information about what happened, you’re asked to call the police.