5 Arrested in Connection to Deadly Drive-By Shooting in Waterbury

Waterbury police car

Waterbury police have arrested five people in connection to a deadly drive-by shooting on Thursday, May 14 and two others have been arrested on weapons charges.

Officers were called to Willow Street and Woodlawn Terrace to investigate a report of gunshots around 10 p.m.

When police arrived, they said they could not find anyone suffering from any gunshot injuries.

Investigators said they later learned that two people suffering from gunshot injuries were transported by private vehicles to area hospitals.

A 23-year-old woman arrived at Waterbury Hospital with a gunshot wound to her leg and a 26-year-old man, later identified as Isaiah Colon, of Waterbury, arrived at Saint Mary's Hospital with a gunshot injury to his torso, according to police.

Officers responded to Saint Mary's Hospital and found the vehicle that had arrived at the emergency room with three people inside including the man who had been shot, investigators said. The three people from the vehicle were found and detained as part of the investigation.

The woman who had a gunshot wound to her leg was treated at Waterbury Hospital and was released for a non-life threatening injury. Colon was later pronounced dead on Thursday around 10:25 p.m., officers added.

Investigators said they later learned that gunshots were fired from a dark-colored SUV towards a crowd of people standing outside on Woodlawn Terrace and Willow Street. The SUV fled the scene after the shooting.

Officers began a citywide search for the vehicle believed to have been involved in the shooting.

On Friday, May 15, around 1:40 a.m., officers said they saw a black SUV traveling on Hamilton Avenue towards Pearl Lake Road suspected to be the vehicle used during the shooting. The vehicle was determined to be stolen out of Groton, they added.

Police initiated a vehicle stop, but the driver of the vehicle did not stop and fled. Officers pursued the vehicle and during the pursuit, the suspect vehicle crashed head-on into a second police vehicle driven by detectives, according to police.

Investigators said the three occupants of the SUV were taken into custody and have been identified as 19-year-old Jan Santiago, of Waterbury, 18-year-old Byron E. Cruz, of Waterbury, and a 17-year-old.

Santiago, Cruz and the 17-year-old are all facing charges including conspiracy at murder, conspiracy at assault, weapons in a motor vehicle, larceny and interfering with police officers. Santiago and Cruz were held on a $1,500,000 bond while the teenager was released to juvenile detention, according to investigators.

Police said through the investigation, they later learned that there was fourth person inside of the SUV who shot at people in the street during the drive-by shooting.

On Saturday afternoon, detectives conducting surveillance said they found the suspected shooter, identified as 18-year-old Evel Pacheco, of Waterbury, and took him into custody during a traffic stop. He was a passenger in the car during the stop and officers found two handguns in the car, authorities added.

Pacheco is facing a list of charges including murder, assault, conspiracy at murder, conspiracy at assault, reckless endangerment, criminal use of a firearm and carrying a pistol without a permit, police said. He was held on a $1,500,000 bond.

Based on the vehicle stop where Pacheco was apprehended, officers said the driver and the front seat passenger of the vehicle were also arrested. Both are facing weapons-related charges, officers said.

On Friday, police said they arrested a 17-year-old who has been charged with conspiracy at murder, conspiracy at assault in the first degree, possession of large-capacity magazine and carrying a pistol without a permit.

The juvenile is being held at a Juvenile Detention facility pending arraignment.

The homicide investigation remains open. Anyone with information should contact the Waterbury Police Department detectives at (203) 574-6941 or Crime Stoppers at (203) 755-1234.

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