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3-Year-Old, 16-Year-Old Dead After Shootings In Hartford

Mayor Luke Bronin addresses the media Saturday night, along with Hartford Police Chief Jason Thody.

Hartford police have confirmed that a 3-year-old boy died of gunshot injuries suffered in a drive-by shooting in the city Saturday afternoon. Rondell Jones was in a car with his mother and two older siblings when he was shot.

About two hours later, a 16-year-old was killed and another person injured in a shooting about a mile from the first. Investigators do not believe the two incidents are linked. The 16-year-old was later named by police as Jamari Preston of New Britain.

According to a statement from police, camera footage of the first incident on Nelson Street in the city’s North End shows a black Honda Accord stop alongside another vehicle, and a passenger in the Accord firing shots. 

Police say they believe the intended target of the shooting was a man who was a passenger in the vehicle. He fled on foot.

The 3-year-old child was taken to the hospital with a gunshot wound and later died of his injuries.

Police Chief Jason Thody called the shooting “an exceptionally tragic event.”

Officers say the suspect’s vehicle was confirmed to have been stolen from Windsor Locks, and it was later found abandoned.

Police say in addition to the camera footage, there were several witnesses to the incident, which happened at 2:25 p.m. They urge anyone with information to contact the Hartford Police Department.

The second shooting took place sometime before 4:45 p.m. on Magnolia Street. Police arrived to find Preston with multiple gunshot wounds and another person who was injured.

“These crimes tear families apart and they wound a whole community,” Mayor Luke Bronin said at a news conference Saturday evening. “We have to stand together to help our police solve these crimes, and do everything we can to end this kind of senseless violence.”

Police said investigations into both shootings are ongoing.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

Harriet Jones is Managing Editor for Connecticut Public Radio, overseeing the coverage of daily stories from our busy newsroom.

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