New Haven Police have two people in custody in connection with the drive-by shooting of 16-month-old Tramire Miller last week. They said the shooting might be gang related.
A stray bullet hit Miller in the abdomen while he was sitting with family on the front stoop of a home at 60 Kensington St. on Wednesday, October 10.
He was rushed to surgery and has since been released from the hospital.
Police have arrested Joseph "Joe Joe" Metteus, an 18-year-old city resident with a criminal record that includes a felony arrest.
The investigation was an effort by several police officers who worked around the clock and some off-duty officers who came in to help the investigation, officials said.
Metteus was arrested outside his Chapel Street home on Saturday evening.
Tythrone Ford, 19, is currently incarcerated on unrelated charges. Police said on Monday morning that they are drafting a warrant.
Both men are believed to have fired shots.
"We believe two people were shooting, that they drove by and two people in the car were shooting at the porch and then fled the scene," Assistant Chief Archie Generoso said. "They were shooting at other people. Obviously the child was not an intended target."
According to police, Metteus and Ford are believed to be members or associates of the Grape Street Crips based in New Haven and the shooting stemmed from a feud with a rival gang.
Police said they found a weapon on Wednesday night. On Saturday, the found a Toyota Camry believed to be involved, which led to more evidence and enough information for probable cause.
Tramire and his family attended the news conference on Monday morning.
His father, Timothy Miller, said he does not believe his son was targeted, but does not feel safe in his neighborhood.
"He's a baby," Timothy Miller said, and asked for the violence to stop.
"I don’t know who’s to blame. I could say a lot of people just from speculation," he said. He thanked God for saving his son, "but I thank you all for protecting me from myself," he added.
“I think he was just caught in the middle of a cross-fire that anybody could've gotten hit,” Timothy Miller said in a previous interview. "I'm not comfortable now, letting him out of my sight. It's serious."
“As bad as want to know really what happened, we will never get the answers,” Tramire‘s mother, Sherrie Miller, said, and reiterated her husband’s request that the violence end. She also thanked the community for what they have done.
“I just want to say thank you once again, from the bottom of my heart. Just words cannot even express how grateful we are that he is sitting here with us right now, “ she said.
Delisa Tolson, who owns Advanced Childcare Center, across the street from the Miller's home, said Tramire's sister was resting on a cot during nap time when the shooting happened.
“Nobody should have to live in fear. These boys need help, they need guidance,” Tolson said. "Parents, know where your kids are. Be involved. … It starts at home. Parents are not doing their job. ... They need to be involved."
New Haven police said they believe this shooting was connected to one earlier on Stevens Street and they expect to make more arrests in connection with this incident.
"We believe they’re related. We believe both incidents are related. We believe this incident was retaliation for the shooting that occurred on Stevens Street," Generoso said.
Published at 1:32 PM EDT on Oct 14, 2012 | Updated at 6:32 PM EDT on Oct 15, 2012