The past seven months have been difficult ones for the Martinez family. Last December, 18-year-old Javier Martinez was shot and killed near the intersection of Hemingway Avenue and Russell Street in New Haven’s East Shore neighborhood.
“It's been very hard for us. No closure,” said Zaida Martinez, Javier Martinez’s mother.
She is calling for action at the Ross Woodward School, where members of New Haven's East Shore community gathered Tuesday evening, demanding justice and answers.
“We still haven't found who did this horrific crime,” she said.
Javier Martinez is one of three men killed in a two-month period in the East Shore area. At the Tuesday evening meeting, community leaders passed around a petition to try to get a reward for information leading to arrests and convictions in the three cases.
“The community still is very, very interested in solving the murders,” said Ron Codianni, who lives in the East Shore neighborhood.
They're also working to prevent future crimes from taking place in the area. They say the three homicides happened near Housing Authority properties, which have been a source of drug and violence problems.
“From the crime statistics, since the Housing Authority is building scattered-site housing in our community, the drugs, the violence, the shootings, the gunshots and now the murders are happening right around their properties,” said Codianni.
Neighbors want the Housing Authority to step in and help and want a higher police presence than the New Haven police substation currently provides.
“We need police here. That's what we need because there are a lot of problems in Ward 11,” said alderwoman Barbara Constantinople.
The New Haven Housing Authority did not return a request for comment Tuesday.