An East Hartford woman was killed as she left a convenience store in Hartford on Thursday night and police said she is the tragic victim of a shootout down the street.
Altanese Walker, 25, had just left My Food Market at 20 Greenfield St. just after 10 p.m. when she was hit but a bullet from a gunfire exchanged nearby, police said.
“There is no indication that Ms. Walker was an intended target,” Hartford Police Chief Daryl Roberts said in a statement issued on Friday.
The clerk behind the register at My Food Market says Walker was gasping for breath as she back came into the store. She got as far as the display case, hit into it, and collapsed onto the floor.
"The last words she said was 'Oh my God.' That's the last words I heard," said Jonathan Disla.
Hartford police officers responded after someone reported a serious assault with a firearm and found Walker suffering from a life-threatening gunshot wound to her torso.
She was transported to Saint Francis Hospital for medical treatment and pronounced dead at 10:31 p.m.
The major crimes unit and crime scene investigators are conducting an investigation.
“This is a terrible tragedy and the Hartford Police Department is desperately seeking the public’s cooperation and assistance in identifying the parties involved in the shoot-out or anyone who may have witnessed this incident,” Chief Roberts said. “Please come forward and help us bring some justice to Ms. Walker’s family.”
Friends of Walker are also trying to cope with the sudden loss.
"Altanese is, I'd say a devoted mom, a family person. She's caring, charismatic, funny. She was the life of the party. When she comes into a room, she just shut the whole room down," said Dave Honegan, one of Walker's friends.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to call Sgt. Brandon O’Brien of the Hartford Police Department’s Major Crimes Division at 860-757-4089 or to call the Hartford Crime Stoppers Tip Line at 860-722-8477.
Anonymous, confidential tips may be made by calling Hartford Crime Stoppers at 860-722-TIPS (8477).