Hartford police said the shooting of a pastor in Hartford and another shooting 14 minutes later over Memorial Day weekend appear to be connected.
Rev. Dr. Augustus Sealy, 54, of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, was shot in front of the First Church of Nazarene, at Capitol Avenue and Newton Street, just before 6:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 24, according to police.
Sealy, who was shot twice in the right leg and once in the left shoulder area, was transported to Saint Francis Hospital to be treated.
At 6:41 a.m. on Sunday, Hartford Police officers responded to another shooting. This one was reported at 402 Garden St., and they found a man who’d been shot at least six times.
An ambulance brought him to the emergency room at Saint Francis Hospital, where he was later listed in serious, but stable condition.
Police said the motive for both crimes is unclear. Investigators said earlier this week that they are looking into whether the shooting might have been a hate crime.
"I can tell you we do hear from residents that the church is very accepting and open to the LGBT community," Hartford police spokesman Deputy Chief Brian Foley said during a media briefing Tuesday afternoon. "So there were some statements made at the scene that certainly keep the idea of it being a hate crime open to our investigators."
Detectives have evidence to directly connect these two shootings, police said in a statement released on Thursday afternoon and they have released surveillance video of a person of interest, who they said is possibly the shooter.
Police said the vehicle in the video is a black Nissan Maxima. The man they are looking for was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and sunglasses.
Police are asking for the public’s help to identify the person and find the car.
Anyone who sees the person should not approach because the man appears to have violent tendencies, according to police.
Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Dennis Dematteo at (860) 757-4261 or tips can be submitted anonymously online.