Waterbury police: shooting suspect could be connected to stolen cars

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When 16 year-old Jordan Cody was shot on High Street last month, little did anyone know a series of shootings would follow. They caused concern throughout the city.

The shootings included Jesus Bryant — a young man shot dead on Catherine Avenue. Police say a 15 year-old confessed to that crime and that it was related to a turf war between two rival neighborhood gangs. Another shooting included the killing of Fransua Guzman — a mother of four children. She was shot in the head. Another woman who was with her was shot in the stomach — she survived. 

Jordan Cody considered himself lucky.

“I thank God everyday and I pray everyday that I’m still alive,” he said.

Related Content: Waterbury shooting victim helps plan rally against violence in the city

Waterbury Interim Police Chief Fernando Spagnolo vows to get to the bottom of all of these shootings. This week, police arrested a suspect in Jordan Cody’s shooting — 18 year-old Manuel Ortiz. As for a motive, Chief Spagnolo says it appears Cody was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Waterbury Police served a search warrant on Ortiz’s home on MacArthur Drive on Tuesday. Chief Spagnolo tells News8 they found evidence connecting Ortiz to this case.


“We seized a .380 caliber handgun, which we later determined was stolen out of Bethlehem, Connecticut,” he said. “We also seized .45 caliber ammunition.”

Chief Spagnolo also tells News8 police found other items that may connected Ortiz to another big issue in Waterbury.

“Several car keys that — some appear to be from stolen vehicles,” said the interim chief. “Some located right here in the city.”

Interim Chief Spagnolo considers this a victory for police work in Waterbury and says more work still needs to be done to solve all of the recent shootings. But, he says the news of Ortiz’s arrest should send a message to the community.  

“We’re doing everything we can to make arrests in these violent cases and make sure the city is a safer place to be,” he said.
 

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