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Waterbury's police chief calls for changes, after a 14-year-old was shot during a string of incidents in which people fired at houses

Press Conference on COVID-19 Vaccination for Teachers
Tyler Russell/Tyler Russell/Connecticut Public
Connecticut Public
Waterbury, CT - February 25, 2021: Press conference on COVID-19 vaccination for teachers. (Tyler Russell/Connecticut Public)

A 14-year-old boy was shot in the back in Waterbury overnight.

His condition was stable at the hospital, and he was expected to survive.

Police say the teenager was wounded in one of three related incidents in which shots were fired at houses.

Waterbury Police say the later shootings may have been in retaliation for the initial shooting.

They say young people involved in group violence live in the houses, and some of them have recently been released from detention.

Waterbury Police Chief Fernando Spagnolo says Connecticut faces a problem with young people between the ages of 15 and 21 getting involved in group violence.

"We need people to recognize and understand that there are kids involved in auto theft, graduating to violent crime, they are getting caught with guns, shooting at each other, and shooting randomly in our communities," Spagnolo said in a press conference outside the Waterbury Police Department. "They are jeopardizing their own lives, and jeopardizing the safety of our communities."

Spagnolo says changes in state law are needed to address the situation.

In a separate incident, a 10-year-old boy was recently injured in the ribs during a shooting in Waterbury.

Some of the people arrested in connection with that incident were also underage.

Matt Dwyer is a producer for Where We Live and a reporter and midday host for Connecticut Public's news department.