New Haven police are investigating a shooting that killed a 17-year-old boy and critically injured his 16-year-old half-brother near an elementary school in the area of Butler and Lilac streets last night.
The two teens were shot around 9 p.m. on Monday and were found lying on the sidewalk near Lincoln Bassett Elementary School.
Police said 17-year-old Taijhon Washington, 17, of New Haven, was killed. They have not released the 16-year-old's name because he is a juvenile, but said he lives in Hamden.
Both victims were taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital, where Washington was pronounced dead, according to police.
"He was caring; he was always around when you needed him," said Hamden High School student Michelle Rotino, of Washington. "He was always that shoulder to cry on."
Rotino said the high school held a moment of silence this morning to honor Washington.
The 16-year-old is in critical condition at the hospital.
"I know [Taijhon] and his brother got along really well," said Rotino. "I knew that they were both pretty much the same type of person."
Authorities received the report of a third victim and followed evidence to an apartment on Newhall Street, where they found a 73-year-old man who had been assaulted.
Police initially believed the two attacks might have been connected but said Tuesday that they seem to be unrelated.
"We believe now that this was separate," said New Haven police spokesman Officer David Hartman, of the assault on the 73-year-old man. "It's improbable that this is connected, other than coincidentally, this is an elderly man who was either assaulted or mugged in that same area."
Police said they are investigating to determine whether the crimes are connected, but the likelihood that they are has lessened.
The assault victim was not shot and received minor, non-life threatening injuries, according to police.
Police have not determined a motive for the shootings or made any arrests.
"We can't discuss the investigation other than to say we are following some leads," said Hartman. "We have not identified a particular suspect or suspects in this."
Anyone with information is asked to call New Haven police at 203-946-6304.