NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – As loved ones mourned the death of 26-year-old Michael Judkins, they asked for peace and no more violence in the Newhallville neighborhood.
A vigil was held Wednesday night on Thompson Street. Friends, family, and community members showed up to support Judkins’ family and to honor his memory. Nicknamed Mango, Judkins was a familiar face in New Haven.
“If you knew him, you were his friend. And you were his friend for life,” said Kelli McBride, Judkins’ mother. She says her son was a loving father of a 3-year-old girl, a talented rapper, and a great basketball player.
Thompson Street was full of people holding candles and balloons. Some brought balloons in the shape of “23”, the number he wore on his jersey on the court.
Judkins was shot multiple times Monday afternoon. He later died at the hospital. Another new haven man was shot in the leg and had non-life-threatening injuries. Police say the incident was group-related violence. They’re asking those who knew Judkins not to retaliate.
“No one deserves to die being shot in the street like this,” said New Haven Police Chief Karl Jacobson. “People don’t trust the police but I want them to trust the police. And just give us a chance to get justice for him so no one else has to die and no one has to experience the pain his mother has experienced.”
McBride assured that her granddaughter would know her dad, with the help of all of the friends who thought of Judkins as a brother. She also made a passionate plea for the violence to end. She doesn’t want another mother to go through the same pain she has.
“I’m angry that someone took my son from me, but it needs to stop,” she said.