Stray Bullet Kills New Haven Man as He Sat in His Home

A 27-year-old New Haven man is dead after a stray bullet came through a first-floor window of his home and struck him as he played video games.

Police are now trying to figure out who shot Joshua Rivera and don’t think he was the intended target.

Police said a ShotSpotter detected 10 shots fired and New Haven officers responded to 128 Greenwood St. at 10:18 p.m. Thursday to investigate.

There, they found Rivera, who had been shot in the head. He was rushed to Yale-New Haven Hospital, where he was pronounced dead Friday morning.

Police said it appeared that Rivera was just sitting at home when shots rang out and there is no indication that he was the intended target, police said.

Friends said Rivera was playing video games when he was shot.

Jorge Reyes, Rivera's former roommate, was watching the NBA finals when he heard his friend had been shot.

"He was the best -- loving, always laughing, caring. Cared about everybody. He made friends with the whole neighborhood. We moved here a year ago and the whole neighborhood loved him," Reyes said.

“Right now it appears to us that he was just seated in his home and is the tragic victim of a random gunshot,” Assistant Police Chief Achilles Generoso said.

Rivera’s family is just beginning to deal with the tragedy.

“You took something really precious from us -- from his brothers and people that love him,” Rivera’s aunt, Lizette Santos, of New Haven, said. “I just want them to come forward. A lot of people make mistakes, but this mistake has got to be fixed.”

Authorities are calling the fatal shooting a homicide. After viewing surveillance video from a nearby camera, they said they are looking for a shorter, thin man wearing an oversized black hooded sweatshirt and light colored jeans.

“This is a tragedy and we’re going to do everything we can to find who did this,” Generoso said.

Police are asking anyone with information about the shooting to contact authorities. 

A candlelight vigil will be held this evening.

Correction: Police originally said Joshua Rivera was 28, but now say he is 27.

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