New Haven, CT - One woman is dead, two people are listed in critical condition and three are being treated for non-life threatening wounds and injuries after a shooting at the Key Club Cabaret at 85 Saint John St. Saturday.
A New Haven officer was outside of the club at the corner of Hamilton Street around 3:30 a.m. when he heard gunfire coming from inside.
Police spokesman Officer David Hartman said the officer rushed in as more than a hundred patrons rushed out the club’s main doorway.
Several other officers within the block arrived on scene within seconds.
Six gunshot victims were located within the club’s after-hours area, and Hartman said all available officers, along with firefighters and EMTs from the New Haven Fire Department, were dispatched.
Ambulances were summoned to take the victims to area hospitals.
Hartman said that detectives have begun their investigation and have been interviewing several witnesses.
No suspects have been identified, and police are asking anyone with information about this crime to call the Detective Bureau at 203-946-6304.
Hartman said calls may be made anonymously.
Police said that they were told the owners of the club, John Bertini and Peter Forchetti, were not on the property during the shootings.
Hartman said that the Key Club is an adult entertainment venue, and the area of the club that was open to the public has a “bring-your-own-alcohol” policy.
The interior was littered with drug paraphernalia and drug packaging, and smelled of marijuana, police said.
The Key Club Cabaret’s site says it is Connecticut’s largest after-hours club Friday and Saturday, and Connecticut’s hottest club.
The club’s Twitter said it was offering happy hour all day Friday, and invited people to stop in.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman released the following statement regarding the incident: “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the woman who died as a result of her injuries, the victims who are fighting for their lives, and all who are impacted by this senseless violence.
This is a tragic reminder that despite progress in recent years, Connecticut cities still suffer too often from the plague of gun violence.
On the state, municipal, and community levels, Connecticut must continue to work together to make all our communities safer.”
Nakia Dawson, 34, founder of Bereavement Care Network, which assists city residents and families in dealing with the grief associated with violence and its aftermath, said Saturday that “when you think the violence has died down, I’m proven wrong again.”
“It has to stop,” Dawson said.
“BCN sends our prayers to the six of the families that were a part of this vicious act of violence,” she said.
Dawson also noted, “It’s not going to take me or one organization to stop this.”
“Everyone has to be a part, and we all need to come together — this is our community — if we want the violence to stop.” Dawson said.
“My heart is continuously grieved as a result of the homicides and shootings our community is experiencing and especially for those who are victims, perpetrators and those of their family and friends who have to pick up the pieces and go on,” the Rev. William Mathis, J.D., M.Div. said.
“As any process of reflection should begin that leads to recovery, it demands honesty with ourselves as well as the sharing of ownership of the issue.”
Mathis said that as a community, we must listen to the cries and pains of those involved and such acts are typically associated with attempts to get attention or respect where none is given.
“Last night’s horrific shootings underscore that we need to make every effort to stop gun violence.
The victims and their families will be in my thoughts today,” New Haven mayoral hopeful Justin Elicker said.
“We must do more to ensure that our community is safe.
Public safety must be our number one priority by rebuilding our police force, strengthening our enforcement of nightclub and bar activity and getting guns off the street and out of clubs.”
The identities of the victims are not being released until they are confirmed and families have been notified.
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