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Man Found Dead After Armed Standoff With Police In Branford

Streets were blocked off in Branford after police and witnesses say a man fired gunshots from a building.
Ali Oshinskie
Connecticut Public Radio
Streets were blocked off in Branford after police and witnesses say a man fired gunshots from a building.

A tense hourslong standoff with an armed man in Branford that included heavy gunfire ended Tuesday evening when police found the suspect dead in the building in which he’d been barricaded.

Just before 7:30 p.m., Branford’s police department said on Facebook that the suspect was dead, the scene was secure, and there was no remaining threat to the public.

“It is very early in this investigation and there are several crime scenes,” the department said. “The New Haven State’s Attorney is on-scene and Connecticut State Police Major Crimes will be processing the scenes.”

Branford resident James Kelly said he was on Main Street around the same time police got there. A friend was there to pick him up. 

“That’s when I heard the shots,” Kelly said. “If he came a minute after to pick us up, I don’t know what would have happened.”

Kelly said he saw police shooting in the direction of an apartment through the back window of his car as soon as they started to pull away. 

Branford police said they got a call just after noon about shots fired in the area of Main Street with a victim nearby. When police arrived, they encountered a man holed up in a building, firing shots. Branford’s fire department said on its Facebook page that one person was taken to Yale New Haven Hospital “with what is believed to be non-life threatening gun shot wound.”

In his tight-knit community, Kelly said, the event shook him. 

“I mean, this is my neighborhood,” he said. “I care about all these people immensely, so it’s scary.”

Alyssa Reilly walked down to the scene after she heard what was happening and got close enough to hear police speaking to the suspected shooter over a loudspeaker.

“You could hear the negotiators talking to him and trying to get him to come out of the house peacefully,” Reilly said.

Police said, “Officers continued to face heavy gunfire and were pinned down until armored BearCat vehicles arrived.” Law enforcement from surrounding towns joined Branford and state police in responding to the scene. SWAT teams also were called in. 

On Twitter Tuesday afternoon, state Sen. Christine Cohen said her office had received reports of an active shooter near 241 Main St. She said police were actively working to de-escalate the situation. State police advised people to avoid the area.

But by just after 7 p.m., police said the suspect, who has not been identified, had been found dead and the scene was safe. The investigation is ongoing.

This story has been updated. Information from the Associated Press is included in this report.

Jeff Cohen started in newspapers in 2001 and joined Connecticut Public in 2010, where he worked as a reporter and fill-in host. In 2017, he was named news director. Then, in 2022, he became a senior enterprise reporter.
Ali Oshinskie is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. She loves hearing what you thought of her stories or story ideas you have so please email her at aoshinskie@ctpublic.org.

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